A Squamish councillor says women who have been sexually assaulted in the District have to go all the way to Vancouver to have a rape kit administered.
Susan Chappelle says RCMP have rape kits but no one in the district is qualified to use them.
“There are no trained physicians and no funding to actually have women use the rape kits for evidence. When a woman is raped basically if they go to the hospital that rape kit acannot be used because there is no physician trained. There is a willingness on the physicians part to actually do the training in Squamish. There is a group of physicians that have come forward and said they are willing to take the training however there is no funding available.”
Chappelle says an RCMP officer must take rape victims to Vancouver General and stay with them while the rape kit is used to gather evidence admissible in court.
She says this is an extra burden on already traumatized women.
Vancouver Coastal Health says there are only two hospitals in the lower mainland where staff are trained to use rape kits to gather evidence that can be used in court.
The two hospitals are Vancouver General and Surrey Memorial.
So women who are victims of rape in far flung areas of the Lower Mainland from Chilliwack to Hope and Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton must go to one of those two hospitals.
The Health Authority says it is not cost effective to train health care workers to administer rape kits in smaller communities.