300 rape kits donated to Region 4

first_imgThe investigation of rape cases are likely to significantly improve with the donation of 300 rape kits to the country’s most populated region; Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet (center) hands over a rape kit to Region Four’s Regional Executive Officer, Pauline Lucas and Regional Health Officer, Dr Quincy JonesThe rape kits, which were donated to Region Four on Tuesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will aid in taking samples from the victim to locate and identify the perpetrator.During a brief handing over ceremony hosted at UNICEF’s Brickdam Georgetown location, the Regional Health Officer, Dr Quincy Jones explained that the kits are fully equipped with the tools needed to collect samples from under finger nails and even other private parts.The samples, he said, will be collected by the Police who will conduct further investigations to locate and identify the perpetrators of the act.The kit will also aid in testing for HIV and pregnancy in rape victims, but is suggested to be used within 24 to 72 hours after the act, as evidence can be washed away.The kits will be housed at medical centres across the region and can be accessed by victims, although the investigations will be conducted by Police officers.“One of the mandates as a Regional Health Officer, we have, is to provide quality services to all citizens and visitors of Region Four and we need to provide adequate health care to those who would have been victims of sexual assault and essential to this is collecting the necessary evidence which is a timely thing because if you don’t collect the evidence within a crucial window period which is roughly between 24 hours to 72 hours, you could lose a lot of evidence,” Dr Jones explained.UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet told the media that the kits will work along with the Sexual Offences Act of 2017 to provide justice to rape victims.According to her, “it’s a supply need that we heard from the partners (regional executives) and it’s for us to really jumpstart to kick off some clear action on the ground in addition to working with the Sexual Offenses Act and its part also of the National Plan of Action that we have in the context of the Sexual Offences Act.”Fouet added that she was pleased with the partnership which will hopefully be of good effect to the region, especially since, “it’s really to prevent and respond in this case to the sexual offence and in particular sexual violence.”Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas said the donation was quite timely and thanked the organisation as it was pointed out that the country has about 400 rape victims per year. She added that Region Four has the responsibility of most times providing health care to visitors and the donation will ensure that justice can be served to all people.Prior to the donation, Dr Jones pointed out that a crucial need had always existed, especially as technology continues to advance in relation to forensic science.During the last quarter of 2018, Police statistics proved that rape cases have increased.Top Cop Leslie James told the media that rape cases had increased by seven per cent, with 202 cases reported in 2018 compared to 189 cases in 2017.last_img read more