Rape victims deserve their shot at justice

IT'S a shocking story. A mother with a disability is raped.

She goes to the Gladstone Base Hospital where she waits, for three hours, for a government medical officer to collect vital forensic evidence - only to find that an officer is not available.

The woman, even more vulnerable than most due to a neurological condition that impairs her ability to walk, is denied justice.

No one deserves this.

A sexual assault is a shocking violation of a person's body and emotions.

It's degrading and abhorrent.

Rapists deserve to be caught and put on trial.

Their victims deserve to get justice.

Clearly there is a hole in the medical system that needs rectifying now.

Sexual assault victims should be shown compassion - from the community and public institutions.

Governments, hospitals and police must do everything in their power to ensure the people who need them most get what they deserve - an efficient investigation process, on-call medical examiners and their day in court.

Unless all these elements come together, rape victims like the woman on the front of The Observer today, will never know justice.