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    Sunday Lunch

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    Larbert centre praised for work supporting sexual assault victims

    Written by on July 21, 2021

    A Larbert centre, providing support for rape and sexual assault victims, has received national praise for the work it is doing.

    The justice secretary visited The Meadows centre for victims of sexual assault, and praised the NHS Forth Valley facility for being a “beacon” of the model he wants to see across the country.

    Keith Brown is calling for radical reforms of the system – if it would improve conviction rates for sex crimes.

    The specialist centre in Larbert was established after Holyrood decided that forensic examination suites should be moved from police statons, and into the community.

    The Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP says he wouldn’t “shy away” from drastic reforms – if a consenus was reached.

    Keith Brown said: “The health and wellbeing of sexual assault victims must be our priority if justice is truly to be served.

    ”To enable victims to come forward it is vital that they are treated with compassion, respect and are properly supported from the moment any sexual assault is reported.

    “Pioneering facilities like The Meadows are a beacon of the model we would like to see across Scotland.

    “It has been recognised nationally as a model of best practice and provides a comprehensive, responsive, person centred, and trauma informed service to victims in a safe and comfortable environment during a distressing time.

    “It is clear from this visit the excellent and important work all the staff do, and I’d like to thank each and every one for their tireless commitment to improving the care and support available for sexual assault victims.”

    Hazel Somerville, NHS Forth Valley Gender Based Violence lead, said: “More than 100 people have accessed support and services at The Meadows since April.

    “As well as providing important initial examination services we also provide a wide range of emotional health care support.

    “We’re delighted to see the approach we have taken in NHS Forth Valley being adopted in other parts of Scotland.”