11/12/2015 13:55 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

Rape kits soon available in Sea-to-Sky region of British Columbia

VANCOUVER — A public health nurse will soon be available to administer rape kits in Squamish, B.C., after a fight by advocates to remove barriers to justice for sexual assault victims in the region.

Vancouver Coastal Health says a nurse will be available as of mid-December to offer the forensic exams, which collect evidence after an assault for a criminal prosecution.

The health authority also says some local doctors have expressed interest in providing the exams and once they complete the necessary training, they will form a team with a nurse.

Squamish district Coun. Susan Chapelle has said victims in the Sea-to-Sky region had to travel for more than an hour, sometimes in the back of a police car, to access the kits at a hospital in Vancouver.

Laurie Leith of Vancouver Coastal Health says the authority has been working with local doctors and community members for some time to provide better services.

Thirteen health centres in southern B.C. can administer rape kits, while doctors in all 24 northern hospitals can provide the exams.

The Canadian Press