Sexual Assault Response Team
Cabell County and Mason County each have a Sexual Assault Response Team
What is a SART?
Each Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is comprised of professionals who work to coordinate an immediate, quality, multidisciplinary, victim-centered response to sexual assaults in their county. This response prioritizes the needs of sexual assault victims and holds offenders accountable.
Who is on a SART?
- Law enforcement conducts the investigation and provides emergency assistance if a victim chooses to report the assault to law enforcement.
- Emergency Department medical staff or specially trained nurses called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) conduct the forensic medical examination.
- Rape crisis center advocates provide emotional support, information, and referrals to the victim during the examination and police interview and throughout the healing process.
- Prosecutors review the evidence and decide whether or not to pursue the prosecution of the offender. They work with members of the SART to coordinate support for the victim during the criminal justice process.
- Other partners may include representatives from state forensic labs, public health departments, victim-witness programs, child/adult protective services, emergency medical services, college campuses, disability service providers, senior services, organizations serving victims from under-served populations and social service agencies.
How Does a SART Work?
The goal of a SART is to ensure a seamless, coordinated, victim-centered response to sexual assault victims and their loves ones. Monthly SART meetings provide a venue for first responders to:
- Develop relationships
- Gain an understanding of individual roles and responsibilities of first responders
- Share information and resources
- Identify gaps in the service delivery system
- Increase awareness on issues of sexual assault and stalking in the community
- Increase victim and community safety
- Increase reporting of sexual assault and stalking
- Increase arrests and hold offenders accountable
In West Virginia, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 21 men will experience an attempted or completed forcible rape in their lifetimes. A SART works to reduce repeated questioning of the victim and to increase the effective collection and preservation of evidence. With all service providers working together, it ensures that victims have immediate access to the services they need.
To contact the SART Coordinator:
Cabell County: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mason County: email@example.com
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CONTACT serves victims of sexual assault and stalking in Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties in West Virginia.
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