UNICEF provides 300 rape kits to combat sexual violence

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In keeping with the National Plan of Action in the Sexual Offenses Act, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday handed over 300 Rape Kits to the Regional Executive Officer of Region Four Pauline Lucas.

The kits will be available in all ten administrative regions in the country.

The mandate of Regional Health division is to provide quality health services and in so doing to provide adequate health care to those who are victims of sexual assault.

The state of the art rape kits has all the necessary tools to collect samples after a sexual assault to effectively catch the perpetrators. Regional Health Officer, Quincy Jones told reporters how the kit can assist in identifying the perpetrators.

“With these rape kits the medical personnel will have all the tools needed to take all the different types of evidence from under fingernails, samples from the vagina, anus or penis, blood samples and hair samples, which will be handed over to the police for further forensic analysis,” the Regional Health Officer said.

Evidence can be lost within 24 to 72 hours of the assault. The Regional Health Officer said, “when a person suffers sexual assault, the evidence is crucial in terms of ensuring that the perpetrator is held accountable and justice for the victim.”

The UNICEF Country Representative, Sylvie Fouet explains how the Rape Kits will help victims of sexual abuse.

“It is really to prevent and respond in this case to the sexual offence, in particular, sexual violence. So when you have been a victim of any sexual assault, you can have protective kits that will help you to make sure, for example, in case of pregnancies or in case of other diseases,” Fouet said.

The kits are the frontline response to victims of sexual assault. The Region Four Executive Officer, Pauline Lucas said the donation was a timely one for the country.

According to the UNICEF Country Representative, the kit is one input of the joint plan to stop violence.

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