16 Oct 2012

Pacific medical staff trained in support for sexual assault victims

8:52 pm on 16 October 2012

Medical staff from around the Pacific have undertaken training to help fill gaps in support for sexual assault victims.

The United Nations Population Fund sponsored the week long training in New Zealand, with police officers and NGOs among the trainees.

Those from the Pacific identified gaps in being able to conduct a thorough medical exam, and support a woman who has been acutely sexually assaulted.

The Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Unit at the Auckland University of Technology, Jane Koziol-McLain, says they addressed the dual role of health professionals in responding to women who experience sexual assault.

"The first is a therapeutic intervention that is both non-judgemental, sensitive and competent as well in caring for the woman and dealing with the acute trauma as well as preventing sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. And the second role is attention to gathering evidence that may be used in court, should the woman choose to pursue justice in the courts."

Nursing Professor, Jane Koziol-McLain.