No-one may be turned awayA survivor of violence must not be turned away and referred to another health care institution. It is irrelevant form which geographic area the survivor originates.
Reporting to the policeHealth care practitioners must establish whether the matter was reported to the police or not:
Medical assessmentA patient who has sustained injuries must be assessed and treated at the nearest casualty/trauma unit. Once stabilized the Casualty Officer may refer the patient to the CCC for the forensic examination.
Under NO circumstances must an injured survivor be referred back to the referring institution for forensic assessment or medical management
Timing of the medico-legal examinationThe medico-legal examination of the patient must be done after the medical assessment has been completed and ideally within two hours of the patient presenting to the institution. Where a patient is admitted, the medico-legal examination is conducted in the ward.
VenueThe health care practitioner must respect the dignity of the patient and all survivors must be interviewed in a private room or Crisis Care Centre.
Emotional SupportPatients suffer mental trauma that may or may not be obvious. The health care practitioner must be caring and supportive
ConsentConsent for the medical examination, treatment, collection of specimens for medical and forensic purposes, disclosure of medical information and the HIV test must be voluntary and informed and must be obtained in writing on the prescribed form or recorded in the patient records.
Any patient over the age of 14 years can consent to the medical examination
Presence of third personIt is important for a third person
(with whom the survivor is comfortable), to be present
during the examination of a patient.
Post-medical examination proceduresForensic Specimens And Exhibits:
These must be sealed, labelled and kept under lock and key in a special cupboard or refrigerator, until sent to the laboratory.
Referral for CounsellingIf the patient is suicidal or has suffered sever emotional trauma, she or he must be referred for immediate counselling and management, or e admitted t the ward.
The patient must be advised of the options regarding post-trauma counselling. The patient may be referred to the hospital social worker, mental health services, or to a NGO support group.
Recording the findingsThe report should be comprehensive and all necessary information must be recorded in the patient's file during or after each consultation or examination. The results of the forensic examination must be recorded on the prescribed form (J88). A copy must be retained for the hospital records and the original J88 form handed to the investigating officer.