Victims billed for rape tests as Labor’s broken system fails women

The LNP is calling on the Palaszczuk Government to immediately make rape kits free and available for all women across Queensland.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s final report heard horrifying instances of women struggling to obtain rape kits or in some cases being charged for forensic medical examinations.

In one case, a woman travelled 1300km for an examination only to be turned back because of a miscommunication.

Others have had rape kits accidentally destroyed, or are being left to wait for treatment in emergency departments for hours at a time with no food, water or clean clothing.

The report also found that victims who were not eligible for Medicare, were in some cases forced to pay for medical treatment.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said no victim should be subject to any costs for a forensic medical examination.

“The findings in this report are disturbing,” he said.

“If a male tourist had his wallet stolen we would not charge him to investigate the crime. Why on earth would we charge a female victim of rape to investigate the crime committed against her.

“This is not a health issue, these women are victims of crime.”

Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Amanda Camm said while the report called on Queensland Health to immediately stop charging victims for any treatment or tests, the Minister needed to go further and remove the practice from Queensland Health.

“A forensic medical examination is a harrowing experience for any victim of sexual assault,” she said.

“The fact that some of these women have been asked to pay for such examinations is outrageous.

“This is evidence gathering for a victim of crime who is seeking justice.

“I’m calling on the Minister to ensure Queensland Health practices and processes and frontline services support victims.”

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