Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

What is a SART?

A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a group of faculty and staff on campus who coordinate an immediate, high quality, multidisciplinary, victim-centered response to sexual violence. The SART creates a system to monitor the effectiveness of the response and to promptly address problems in service delivery.

What are the benefits of SART?

  • SART uses a victim-centered approach that provides compassionate, efficient, and highly skilled care and support for a victim through the aftermath of an assault.
  • SART increases the likelihood that a victim will seek follow-up assistance and long-term support to promote healing, whether or not the sexual assault is reported to law enforcement.
  • SART assesses and improves the effectiveness of current coordinated responses.
    Research indicates that SARTs can increase the reporting of sexual assault violence and the conviction rate of offenders.

Who are members of SART?

Emilee Truitt, SART Supervisor,
Michael Cozart, Victim Advocate,
Sydney Westry, Victim Advocate,
Logan Barrett, Victim Advocate,
Pamela Quintana, Victim Advocate,

What is a SANE?

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a registered nurse with advanced education and clinical preparation to conduct medical forensic examinations for victims of sexual assault. A SANE is trained to:

  • Provide comprehensive care to victims of sexual violence
  • Identify and document injuries
  • Collect evidence and maintain the chain of custody
  • Provide referrals for related follow-up health services
  • Be prepared to testify in a criminal or civil trial as a fact or expert witness

What are the benefits of a SANE?

  • SANEs can provide 24/7 services for victims of sexual assault. This shortens wait time and provides comprehensive care for the victim.
  • SANEs are trained to collect and preserve forensic samples and document any findings.
  • SANEs provide referrals to services for follow-up care to address the victims’ long-term healthcare concerns following a sexual assault
  • SANE’s thorough evidence collection and comprehensive documentation can strengthen the case for the prosecution

Options for Reporting a Sexual Assault

All victims of a recent sexual assault can have the forensice medical exam conducted within 106 hours of the assault (preferred within 72 hours). Victims may choose not to report the assault to law enforcement at the time of the exam.

Report to law enforcement – If the case is report to law enforcement, the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit should be sent directly to the AL State Police Forensic Laboratory.

Non-report to law enforcement – Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit of victims who choose NOT to report the assault to law enforcement will be anonymously stored at USA Children and Women’s Hospital. Victims may later decide to initiate a report to law enforcement.

Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund

The fund provides payment for the initial forensic examinations which is performed on victims of sexual violence for the purpose of obtaining evidence to potentially pursue criminal charges against sexual assault offenders and for the prevention and treatment of venereal disease.

Confidential Reporting

SHC has resources for confidential reporting on campus. Confidential reporters on campus include:

  • On-campus licensed professional counselors and staff
  • On-campus members of the clergy working within their scope of their licenses or ordination
  • Members of the SHC SART Team

How to Help Victims

  • Believe them.
  • Listen to them without judgment. A victim may not remember every detail of the assault.
  • Provide them with information and resources needed to help them make informed decisions. Respect those decisions and be supportive.
  • Reassure them that they are not to blame for what happened to them.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2020-WA-AX-003 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publications/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.