Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a community-based
approach to providing a sensitive, comprehensive,
coordinated system of intervention and care for survivors of
sexual assault. It is designed to support the survivor while
reducing post-traumatic stress, improving the collection of
forensic evidence, facilitating investigation, and
supporting the prosecution of the perpetrator.
no one agency can handle all of that alone, the following
groups work together as a team:
team is designed to meet the needs of sexual assault
survivors and their significant others by providing:
Assault Nurse Examiners in a specially equipped hospital
Laboratories of both the Sheriff and LAPD
District Attorney's Office
Victim Assistance Program
Service and Mental Health Agencies
taking the initial report, the officers will determine if a
forensic medical exam is appropriate. The police, who pay
for the medical exam, then contact the Sexual Assault Nurse
Examiner and the Rape Crisis Advocate who meet the survivor
and Law Enforcement at the hospital. The team then begins
working together with the survivor.
and coordinated response
emotional support and advocacy
prompt, high quality forensic medical examinations
to protect the survivor against sexually transmitted
of pregnancy risk and emergency contraception
information about investigative and criminal justice
for sexual assault survivors and their significant
SART team is most often called into action when a
survivor reports the assault to Law Enforcement.
of Valley Trauma Centers Rape Crisis Advocates are
community-based volunteers. Each has completed a sixty-hour
State Certified Sexual Assault Training and also
participates in eight sexual assault workshops each year.
Advocates are able to answer, or get the answer to many
pertinent questions that may come up for the survivor.
important to know that the advocate is the only person who
isn't involved with investigating the facts or collecting
evidence. This means that they are completely able to attend
to the needs of the survivor in an unconditional and
do this by:
emotional support, listening, and empathizing with the
any sense the survivor may have of going through the
with the survivor after the examination to check-in and
assess any new needs or concerns
information about support services offered by Valley Trauma
Center that the survivor may find helpful, including individual
and group counseling
appropriate referrals to other agencies based on the
written literature about Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Victim Assistance Program,
Personal Safety Tips, Significant Other Tips, and HIV
Testing. and a booklet titled "Taking Action: What
to Do if You Are Raped."
Trauma Center's advocacy services are available 24 hours a
day, seven days a week to sexual assault survivors of all
ages and their significant others, (just contact our hotline
886-0453 or (661)
addition to meeting survivors at hospitals, advocates will
accompany survivors to Law Enforcement agencies, District
Attorney's offices, court proceedings, and other social
services. In other words, an advocate will provide support
throughout the entire process, if that's what the survivor
survivor's right to have an advocate present from the beginning
of the investigation to case closure is a matter of public
policy in the State of California and is protected under
state law: Penal Code Section 679.04(a) provides that a
victim of sexual assault has a right to have a victim advocate
and a support person of the victim's choosing present at
any interview by Law Enforcement authorities, District Attorneys
or defense attorneys, and during any medical or physical
a healing note, it turns out that the role of the Rape Crisis
Advocate is essential in significantly reducing additional
stress experienced by sexual assault survivors. Studies
have shown a reduction in the severity of post-traumatic
stress symptoms when quick and early support is provided
to those who have suffered trauma.
you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted and require
assistance or additional information regarding the SART
process, please don't hesitate to call our hotline at
We will be there for you.
TO REPORT THE ASSAULT TO THE POLICE
within 72 hours of the assault will allow for valuable
evidence to be collected. Should your case be
prosecuted, this increases the chances of apprehending
the suspect and successfully prosecuting.
allowing survivors to take action against the
perpetrator of this violent crime, reporting gives
survivors back some of their personal control.
is empowering; it gives survivors a chance to discuss
what has happened.
the crime will ensure that medical expenses, including a
forensic medical exam and costs for emergency care, may
be paid by public compensation funds.
and prosecuting are essential to sexual assault
prevention and the protection of other potential victims
by stopping or deterring repeat offenders.
attests to the fact that sexual assault really happens
and that this crime will not be suffered in silence.
you're not alone.