Hospitals are one of the places, if not the first place, where victims of sexual crimes go to for assistance. The importance placed on trained personnel dealing with these victims cannot be ignored as the assistance and experience given will greatly helped how the victim will recover and heal and her journey when seeking justice. In collaborating with the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) at hospitals, WCC has adopted a two-prong approach by providing emotional support to victims of violence and training of medical personnel on a more sensitive approach when handling these clients.
As a result of the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 1996, an OSCC was established in Hospital Pulau Pinang (HPP). Other state hospitals followed suit with similar one-stop centres offering survivors of domestic violence and rape immediate medical and police service. In April 2008, WCC started its Rape Survivors SupportInitiative which saw it collaborating with the OSCC of HPP by offering counselling, support and follow up to survivors who consented to such services. Soon after, PPW in Penang mainland were also referred cases from Hospital Seberang Jaya. Year after year, WCC/PPW has seen an increase of survivors referred from both OSCCs signalling growing effectiveness of the collaboration.
The treating of domestic violence and rape survivors require specific sensitivities and an awareness of the nature of sexual crimes. This is especially so for medical personnel who are often the first point of contact with such survivors. With that in mind, WCC has been carrying out training for a spectrum of medical personnel including doctors, medical social workers, nurses, medical students and student nurses. Training has so far been carried out for medical personnel from Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Penang Medical College, Hospital Pulau Pinang, Hospital Seberang Jaya and many more district government hospitals and clinics.