WHEREAS sexual assault examination kits are used by medical personnel when examining victims in order to properly collect and deliver DNA evidence to a forensic laboratory, whereby testing can establish proof of the assault and the assailant’s identity ;
WHEREAS access to rape kit equipment varies provincial and territorially, with some hospital health care staff having to call Mounties to bring in the equipment ;
WHEREAS many hospitals in Canada still lack trained forensic nurses to administer the kits, sometimes forcing traumatized women to travel long distances or wait for hours ;
WHEREAS it is estimated that only 60 per cent of northern Ontario communities have rape kits and the shortage has meant victims have to be sent to hospitals in outlying areas ;
WHEREAS a timely investigation is critical in order to properly gather and preserve evidence of sexual assault and a shortage of kits could discourage victims from coming forward ;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Ontario Liberal Party establish (and urge the Government of Canada to establish), provincial (and/or national) accessibility to sexual examination kits or rape kits in all hospitals and clinics within Canada;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ontario Liberal Party establish (and urge the Government of Canada to establish), a provincial (and/or national) time frame and limit for the testing of sexual assault examination kits/ rape kits and continue to ensure sufficient hiring and training of nurses, for forensic administration of sexual examination kits/rape kits.
*Background information and references available.