A Scottish Parliament committee has backed a Bill which aims to support the health needs of sexual offence victims.

The legislation would allow victims aged over 16 to self-refer to NHS facilities and have forensic evidence taken, before deciding if they want to report the incident to the police.

The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill was considered by Holyrood’s Health Committee earlier this year.

During an evidence session, Sandy Brindley, chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland branded the current arrangements “an embarrassment”.

Committee convener Lewis Macdonald said legislation needs strengthened so victims had more information when deciding whether to report.

He said: “Victims of sexual offences should be able to access medical treatment in as simple a manner as possible.