The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill

Closed 2 Feb 2020

Opened 6 Dec 2019

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.



The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on the 26th November 2019 by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, MSP.

The Bill places duties on health boards regarding forensic medical services for victims of sexual offences (and harmful sexual behaviour by children under the age of 12).

A forensic medical examination enables evidence to be collected for use in any subsequent investigation or court proceedings.  These examinations are currently carried out by health boards under a Memorandum of Understanding between Police Scotland and health boards – the Bill seeks to place the current arrangements on a statutory footing.

What does the Committee want to know?

The Committee is keen to hear your views on the Bill and specifically would like to receive comments on:

  • What are the key advantages and disadvantages of placing the examination of victims of sexual offences (and harmful sexual behaviour by children under the age of criminal responsibility) by health boards on a statutory basis?


  • What are the key benefits of providing forensic examination on a self-referral basis (whereby victims can undergo a forensic medical examination without first having reported the incident to the police)? What problems may arise from this process?


  • Are there any issues with the proposal to restrict self-referral to people over 16 years old?


  • Are there any issues with the health board storing and retaining evidence gathered during self-referred forensic examinations?


  • Do you have any other comments to make on the Bill?

How to submit your views

You can submit your views using the online submission form linked to below.

The call for written views will close on 30 January 2020.

The Scottish Parliament and its Committees value diversity and seek to work towards committee witnesses being broadly representative of Scotland’s society. As such we encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence If you need advice, please contact the Clerks on the email address:

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.  If you are under 12 years of age, please read this privacy notice.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.

Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, submissions received after the closing date will not be considered.


  • HSCS