Abigail Binay calls for ‘safe places’ for rape victims
MAKATI City Rep. Abigail Binay on Sunday called for the establishment of “safe places” for victims of rape or sexual assault in order to encourage them to take legal action against their attackers.
Noting that 46 rape cases were reported every day in the Philippines, Binay urged private hospitals to provide care for women sexual assault victims in a special facility.
“We have to encourage rape victims to at least have themselves checked in the hospital so they can receive treatment,” Binay, a deputy majority leader in the House of Representatives, said in a statement.
The lawmaker, a lawyer by profession, stressed that sexual assault victims did not have to report the crime to have a medical examination.
In the United States, a rape victim is usually first assessed by the hospital’s emergency department to ensure that any and all serious injuries or conditions are taken care of, said Binay.
Then the victim is referred to the hospital’s safe place—a sexual assault examination unit—where she can meet with law enforcement officials and provide evidence, if she wants to.
“Our hospitals here should also have sexual assault examination units that can collect and safely store forensic evidence of rape victims, should they decide to report the offense at a later time,” Binay said.
Forensic evidence refers to proof that may be used in court, especially those obtained via scientific methods, such as a DNA test. DNA evidence from a sexual assault can be collected from a victim’s body, clothes and other personal belongings. It can also be gathered from the crime scene.
A hospital’s safe place would help encourage rape victims to take legal action against their attackers, said Binay.
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