SART: Sexual Assault Response Teams

Center for Survivor Agency and Justice: Addressing the Economic Harm of Sexual Assault

The profound impact of rape and sexual assault in this country is well-documented. Nearly one in five women are raped in their lifetime. Women of color are more vulnerable than white women, with Native American and multi-racial women at greatest risk. Youth are also at risk: Nearly half of female survivors are raped before they are 18 years old, and over a quarter of male survivors are raped by the time they are 10. Many women experience multiple victimizations, with over a third of women who were raped as minors raped as adults. Rape and sexual assault survivors often suffer from a wide range of physical and mental health related problems, including depression, chronic pain, diabetes, anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Often as a result of such trauma and long-term health effects, survivors are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and to attempt suicide.

IACP: Sexual Assault Incident Reports: Investigative Strategies

These guidelines and interview strategies are based upon national best practices regarding sexual assault incident investigations and were developed in collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, medical, and forensic professionals. The goal of these guidelines is to support officers and departments in preparing sexual assault cases for successful prosecution through detailed case documentation and thorough investigations.

IACP: Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Training

The Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Training provides law enforcement and multi-disciplinary community partners with information on the neurobiology of trauma and investigative strategies to respond to sexual assault crimes in a victim centered, trauma informed manner.

Battered Women’s Justice Project

During the past two decades, the physical and sexual abuse of women and children has become widely recognized. But in the midst of all this attention and noise, there is a curious silence surrounding sexual violence toward wives. Marital rape is still widely regarded as a contradiction in terms.

Family Justice Program: Victim Advocacy and Interviewing

This webinar will focus on interviewing and advocacy techniques designed to help prosecutors, advocates, and law enforcement to work with survivors of sexual assault. We will address ways to build trust and rapport, to gain the most information from witnesses and to answer common questions about the system. Because victims have specific fears about sexual assault prosecutions, we will talk through some sensitive conversations that you may need to have, including topics like plea negotiations, preparation for likely cross-examination, and addressing inconsistencies. Finally, we will discuss interactions with journalistic media, defense counsel, and social media.

Battered Women’s Justice Project: Firearm Checklist for Advocates

This checklist provides information for advocates facilitating a discussion with survivors about firearms. It also provides key information on the federal Gun Control Act provisions prohibiting the purchase or possession of firearms by those subject to a protection order (18 USC 922 (g)(8)) or those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) (18 USC 922 (g)(9)).

American Indian/Alaska Native victims of sexual violence may come into contact with people from multiple disciplines and jurisdictions during the course of their journeys towards healing.

Victims in Indian Country may undergo a forensic medical examination with a SANE nurse, discuss the facts of her case with multiple law enforcement agencies, receive services from victim advocacy and victim witness providers, and assist tribal, federal, and/or state prosecutors in seeking criminal justice against her perpetrator(s). If done on a piecemeal basis, this process imposes an overwhelming burden on the victim.

Many tribal communities have developed a multi-disciplinary, inter-jurisdictional team response in responding to the varied needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native victims of sexual violence. Commonly referred to as a "Sexual Assault Response Team" (SART), the effective SART brings justice and service providers together to provide a streamlined, coordinated response to sexual violence.

The SART model has become the standard for responding comprehensively to victims of sexual assault.  Ideally, SARTs are tailored to the legal, cultural, healthcare, and service needs of the jurisdictions that they serve.  SARTS can be informal, cooperative partnerships, or they can be formalized, coordinated, multidisciplinary responses that meet on a regular basis, that take into account the victim’s feelings, make victims' physical and emotional needs a priority, hold offenders accountable, and promote public safety.

The most commonly included members of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) are:

  • Victim Advocates
  • Law Enforcement
  • Prosecutors
  • Victim Witness Personnel Working For Law Enforcement or Prosecutors
  • Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners

Because SARTs are tailored to fit the individual communities that they serve, tribes can incorporate others into their team including: SAFESTARs, 911 emergency dispatchers, emergency medical services, corrections, sex offender management professionals, hospitals, elders, and others.

Participation in a SART requires strict confidentiality from all of the team members.

SART: Sexual Assault Response Teams

Contact NICCSA

PO Box: 2100 E Speedway Blvd, Box 40805, Tucson, AZ 85719

Phone: (520) 623-8192
Fax: (520) 623-8246

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*NICCSA is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy ( This project is supported by Grant No. 2017-SA-AX-K001, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.