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Congratulations to Dr Cath White, Clinical Director of SARC, for her OBE in the New Year Honours List

Cath White

Dr Catherine White, Clinical Director at the St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in The Queen's 2014 New Year's Honours List.

Dr White has been Clinical Director for the St Mary's SARC since 2003 and a Forensic Physician, specialising in the examination of women, men and children since 1995.

During her career, Dr White has constantly sought to drive up standards in the quality of care for rape and sexual assault victims and has been instrumental in delivering comprehensive training and teaching of practitioners working in this field.

Dr. White commented: "I am delighted to see that the work done by those trying to improve the plight of sexual assault victims and increase understanding around the whole issue of sexual violence has been recognised. Hopefully it will help to raise the profile of this pervasive problem and encourage more to help tackle it. The St Mary's SARC has an amazing dedicated team, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in society and it has been a privilege to be part of it."

Dr White has written extensively on the subject of rape and sexual assault examinations providing doctors and health practitioners with essential practical information on sexual assault examinations.

Since working in this field, she was appointed to the Academic Committee for Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine and has served as Vice President, Forensic Medicine for the organisation.  She is also the Deputy Chief Examiner, Sexual Offences Medicine for the MFFLM and was on the Management Committee for the DipFCASA.  She represents both the FFLM and St Mary's SARC on national committees and boards.

Dr White has provided training and lecturing both nationally and Internationally and was sponsored by UNICEF and CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre) to provide training in Cambodia and Moldova in 2006, 2008and 2010.  She is also guest lecturer to the judges on the Judicial Studies Board, Serious Sexual Offences seminars and the Public Law Continuation Courses.  Since 2012 she has been working with the UN to develop Sexual Assault Services in Palestine.

St Mary's Centre Manager, Bernie Ryan, commented: "Dr White's work has served as an inspiration to those working in a range of disciplines associated with this field.  She has championed the work of St Mary's SARC to a wide range of practitioners who have been able take this knowledge and skills back to their own working environments and been able to improve practices.  International Clinical Attachments have cited the experience of observing the St Mary's Centre's practices has resulted in fundamental changes to the way they deliver their services to victims.

"She has questioned and challenged common practices in order to improve services and ensure that standards are raised and victims receive the best possible care."

St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre was the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre to open in the UK.  It provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated forensic, medical, counselling and aftercare service to men, women and children living in Greater Manchester or Cheshire who have experienced rape or sexual assault, whether this has happened recently or in the past.