Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
Define the SART's Jurisdiction
Victims do not live in a vacuum. SARTs that serve victims in the Armed Services may need to coordinate their response between local and military authorities and health care practitioners. Serving American Indian victims often requires SARTs to coordinate with federal, state, local, and tribal service providers. Campus SARTs need to be prepared to integrate the sexual assault responses of campus security and local law enforcement and of community-based and campus-based advocacy and health care providers. SARTs within rural jurisdictions or that border other states need to develop cross-jurisdictional guidelines to ensure a consistent response among medical responders, legal responders, and advocates, regardless of where victims first seek services.
If your SART involves cross-jurisdictional collaborations, you must gather information about state statutes, health department regulations, and federal grant certifications within each jurisdiction to ensure that your SART's activities and services comply with them. You also should create protocols or guidelines that honor each state's laws during interstate collaborations. Basic decisions, protocols, and working agreements among jurisdictions help to ensure that services will be available immediately when victims seek services at any given agency or organization.
When developing your protocol or guidelines, you will need to consider
- What are the privileged communications statutes in each jurisdiction.
- How payment for forensic medical exams will be handled when victims are transported to another state for exams.
- What the activation process is for advocates and health care professionals when victims use interjurisdictional services (e.g., military victims using civilian facilities, American Indian victims using community-based and tribal services, students accessing campus and noncampus assistance).
- Regionally, which agencies and organizations can respond when victims disclose sexual assault.
- What options are available for victims who aren't pursuing a criminal justice response but who still want to hold the offender accountable.
- Whether all law enforcement departments use the same crime lab.
- What interagency agreements are needed.
- What are the purposes of the agreements.
- How will the staff at each agency be educated on the agreements.