Develop a SART
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Gather Community Data

Victims Not Served

Sexual assault victims do not live in a vacuum; any data collected on victims should take into account individual factors that could restrict access to services and leave victims without recourse. For example, the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) requires grantees to report on the effectiveness of activities carried out with grant funds, including the number of persons served and number of persons seeking services who could not be served.

Situations in which victims seek services but are not served could arise when4

  • Victims do not meet eligibility or statutory requirements.
  • Program rules are not acceptable to victims.
  • Services offered are not appropriate for victims.
  • Victims have transportation problems.
  • Services could pose conflicts of interest.
  • Agencies have inadequate language capacity (including sign language).
  • Victims are geographically isolated.

When collecting data, it is important to consider victims who may not be served because they never sought services. This includes individuals who did not report their sexual assaults to law enforcement or victims who do not attempt to access services due to disability, religion, homelessness, institutionalization, multiple service needs, or ethnic or cultural reasons. For example, a battered woman may not disclose sexual assault when transported to a hospital emergency department with obvious physical injuries. Or, a deaf victim whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL) may be required to use a text telephone (TTY) to receive service delivery. ASL concepts are not always readily translated into words through TTYs, which may limit a deaf person's ability to request and obtain services.

To help determine which victims are not currently served—

  • Speak with culturally specific community organizations.
  • Partner with health care professionals, medical schools, and disability specialists to create sexual assault screening instruments.
  • Integrate intervention strategies with community prevention education.
  • Collaborate with domestic violence agencies, community shelters, substance abuse treatment centers, and other community agencies at which sexual assault victims may receive secondary services.