Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART)

What is a SART?

A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a coordinated team of people who serve victims of sexual assault. The core membership of a SART includes law enforcement, medical providers, and community-based victim advocates. Additional essential members include prosecutors, systems-based victim advocates, and other allied professionals.

The fundamental goal of a SART is to develop, expect, and obtain a consistent and trauma-informed response to a victim of sexual assault, regardless of the time of day or who is responding. In other words, a victim who reports a sexual assault to a victim advocate at noon, and a victim who reports a sexual assault to a hospital emergency department at midnight, should have similar experiences, assistance, and support. A SART strives to create a comprehensive response to a victim of sexual assault everywhere a victim might report the assault.

In Virginia, sexual assault teams are mandated in the Code of Virginia:


Code of Virginia Mandate

Section 15.2-1627.4  Coordination of multidisciplinary response to sexual assault

The attorney for the Commonwealth in each political subdivision in the Commonwealth shall coordinate the establishment of a multidisciplinary response to criminal sexual assault as set forth in Article 7 (§18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, and hold a meeting, at least annually, to: (i) discuss implementation of protocols and policies for sexual assault response teams consistent with those established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services pursuant to subdivision 37d of §9.1-102; and (ii) establish and review guidelines for the community's response, including the collection, preservation, and secure storage of evidence from the Physical Evidence Recovery Kit examinations consistent with §19.2-165.1.  The following persons or their designees shall be invited to participate in the annual meeting: the attorney for the Commonwealth; the sheriff; the director of the local sexual assault crisis center providing services in the jurisdiction, if any; the chief of each police department and the chief of each campus police department of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a forensic nurse examinar or other health care provider who performs Physical Evidence Recovery Kit Examinations in the jurisdiction, if any; the Title IX Coordinator of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; representatives from the offices of student affairs, human resources, and counseling services of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a representative of campus security of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction that has not established a campus police department, if any; and the director of the victim/witness program in the jurisdiction, if any. 

 

Resources

Virginia Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Brochure--coming soon in 2019!

Recorded Webinar: Exploring the Implications of Virginia's SART Code Mandate

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs): A Model Protocol for Virginia

Cultivating SART Efficacy: Insights of the Impact of Virginia Sexual Assault Team Code Mandate

Office for Victims of Crime: Sexual Assault Response Team Toolkit

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) Sexual Assault Response Toolkit

Sexual Violence Justice Institute: SART Tools and Resources

End Violence Against Women (EVAWI) Resources for SARTs

 

For Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) consultation and technical assistance, please contact Jennifer Kline at (804) 225-3456.