The Sexual Assault Response Team and the Sexual Assault Resource
Team both offer a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach
to victims of sexual violence. The purpose of these teams is
to efficiently and collaboratively meet the medical and emotional
needs of victims of sexual violence, as well as to meet the
evidentiary prosecutorial needs of the criminal justice system.
SARTs accomplish these goals by providing an interdisciplinary
advisory board. Activities of a SART may include the following:
guidance, protocol development, peer review, training and technical
assistance, data collection for policy and legislative development,
community education, and public policy advocacy.
Selecting members of a Sexual Assault Response/Resource Team
is crucial in providing an effective response to each victim.
When developing a SART, it is important to include all professionals
who may have decision-making power when it comes to the care
of a sexual assault victim, such as:
Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate Law Enforcement
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Communications Personnel
Evidence Technicians Educational
Commonwealth's Attorneys Hospital administration
Private counseling providers Social Services
• Sexual Assault Response Teams organize
a specific group of professionals to respond to sexual assault
victims simultaneously at the sexual assault exam. This coordinated
response allows SANEs and law enforcement to interview the
victim together. This minimizes the number of times the victim
needs to repeat the events of the assault, which is often a
second trauma to the victim.
It is important to consider the possible
negative emotional impact on the victim when designing this
response. A SART should take into consideration: whether
the victim will feel pressured to report to law enforcement;
whether victims will be required to report; whether victims’ medical
needs will be met if their decision is to not report; and
whether your protocol allows for hospitals to be reimbursed
for forensic exams performed for non-reporting victims. These
concerns must be addressed in the structure of the response
team to ensure that victims' needs are met.
• Sexual Assault Resource Teams ,
rather than interviewing the victim simultaneously, coordinate
their efforts through meeting regularly, routine communication,
and collaborative case management. Investigators, SANEs and
other professionals conduct their interviews with the victim
separately, but maintain communication and collaboration.
Important issues to address with this model are ensuring
confidentiality, and assuring that the victim is not re-traumatized
through multiple interviews.
Regardless of the method used, the most important aspect
of a SART is collaborative, efficient and victim-centered service
delivery to victims of sexual violence.
For more information e-mail email@example.com. E-mail is not a secure form of communication. To ensure confidentiality please call the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.838.8238 (V/TTY).