Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has reiterated the need to end gender-based violence during a debate on Justice and the 16 Days of Activism campaign in the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking during the debate, Mr McArthur said "important progress" has been made to local arrangements that have allowed adult survivors of rape and sexual assault to access forensic assessments in Orkney. However, Mr McArthur added that "there is work still to be done" to ensure similar support is available for young survivors of abuse who continue to have to travel to the Scottish mainland for examination.
Mr McArthur also highlighted the need to allow women subjected to coercive control better access to legal aid. Often financial control can involve perpetrators running up debts in the name of female partners, who then appear to have financial assets that no longer exist in reality.
The debate follows International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls last Thursday which also marked the start of the 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women global campaign.
Commenting after the debate, Mr McArthur said:
"For too long, victims of rape or sexual violence in Orkney had no choice but to travel south for forensic examination, often adding to the trauma they already felt. Important progress has since been achieved with a local service successfully put in place for adult survivors.
"I want to put on record my thanks to all those who helped to bring this about. It was not straightforward, but determination and a willingness to think creatively allowed the service to be implemented locally.
"However, it is all the more important now that similar support is available to younger survivors of abuse, who still need to travel to the Scottish mainland for forensic assessment. I appreciate this may be more complex, but it should be seen as a fundamental right."