Goa child rights body condemn wait by minor sexual assault survivors for medico-legal care

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Panaji: The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has said that it regrets the gross insensitivity towards minor sexual assault survivors in the state, who wait for hours for the medico-legal care.

In a media statement issued here, Commission’s Chairperson Peter F. Borges has said that the institution notes with regret the gross insensitivity towards minor sexual assault survivors, who wait for hours for the medico-legal care, which only intensifies their trauma.

“The slow pace of investigation and the delay in depositing samples with the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and less centres for comprehensive medico-legal care are the loopholes that need to be sealed,” he said.

The Chairperson has said that there is also a need for proper system for addressing the mental health concerns – an important aspect of the trauma associated with sexual assault at every centre.

The commission has pointed out that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, has been on India’s statute books for a decade.

“One of the primary purposes of the act was to provide speedy justice to child victims of sexual offences in a child-friendly manner,” he said.

Speaking about the corrective measures, the Commission has recommended that adequate arrangements be made at North Goa District Hospital and Sub District Hospital at Ponda (South Goa), with availability of female gynecologist and personnel for psychosocial care, to deliver medico-legal care for minor victims of sexual assault.

Borges has also recommended that a circular be issued by Director General of Police to ensure quick access to medico-legal care for the victims and deposit of samples with the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).

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