Why Should Communities Consider SARTs?
The SART model helps communities stretch their resource dollars and provides an avenue for community members to become involved in the intervention in and prevention of sexual assault.
Prevention initiatives address both the causes and consequences of sexual violence. SARTs can work to stop sexual assault from happening (primary prevention), minimize the harm that occurs from sexual violence (secondary prevention), and treat victims in the aftermath of sexual violence (tertiary prevention).3 In practice, SARTs can help prevent sexual violence by4
- Defining the magnitude, scope, characteristics, and consequences of sexual assault through data collection.
- Identifying and researching risk and protective factors.
- Developing and evaluating interventions.
Sexual Violence and the Spectrum of Prevention: Towards a Community Solution Guides advocates, practitioners, and educators in developing a comprehensive community approach to the primary prevention of sexual violence.
Preventing Violence: A Guide to Implementing the Recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health Describes interpersonal violence—its nature, magnitude, and consequences along with action steps and resources.
Handbook for the Documentation of Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programmes Captures program information on intervention strategies and individual, relational, community, and societal prevention efforts.
Sexual Violence and the Spectrum of Prevention identifies six levels of community capacity building that help strategically address prevention. Consider adapting these levels into action steps, as laid out below, and integrating them into your current response:
- Educate victims about personal safety.
- Promote public safety through public awareness campaigns.
- Educate multidisciplinary service providers who can educate their constituency/clients.
- Build collaborative partnerships to provide a collective voice to end sexual violence.
- Develop interagency guidelines that underscore and shape public safety.
- Create local policies that support national efforts to end sexual violence.
Note: The steps shown here are adapted from information found in Rachel Davis, Lisa Fujie Parks, and Larry Cohen, 2006, Sexual Violence and the Spectrum of Prevention: Towards a Community Solution, Enola, PA: National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
In addition, SARTs help communities
- Build culturally specific services.
- Address violence at both individual and systemic levels.
- Integrate intervention and prevention services.
- Streamline access to victim services.
- Hold offenders accountable.
- Provide consistent responses through the civil and criminal justice systems.
- Address sexual violence as a major public health and criminal justice concern.
Sexual Assault Response Teams: Partnering for Success(DVD) Describes the benefits of a collaborative response, highlights the progress the field has made, and addresses issues facing first responders and how those challenges continue to shape the response of SARTs.