Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
Resolve Turf Issues
Turf issues arise when individuals perceive that their agency boundaries have been violated by a potential goal or a recommended procedure.
Although the goals of SARTs are essentially interdependent, a particular proposal or policy could be perceived to work against the interest of one or more of the SART agencies. For example, SARTs may recommend developing protocols and guidelines that include anonymous reporting options for victims. Agencies with public safety responsibilities may feel that anonymous reporting options pose a safety risk for the jurisdiction if victims choose not to cooperate with investigation and prosecution. On the other hand, advocacy agencies may view the process as absolutely necessary for a victim-centered response that gives victims more options.
Some of the concerns may be overcome by staying focused on the team's values and negotiating strategies for finding common ground. In this case, SART members may decide to research how other states have implemented anonymous reporting options. For example, a Massachusetts law states that10—
. . . every physician attending, treating, or examining a victim of rape or sexual assault, or, whenever any such case is treated in a hospital/sanatorium/other institution, the manager/superintendent in charge shall report such case at once to the criminal history systems board and to the police of the town where the rape or sexual assault occurred but shall not include the victim's name, address, or any other identifying information. The report shall describe the general area where the attack occurred without victim identifiers.
This type of response provides for both victim confidentiality and public safety and could be a workable compromise.
One organization or agency may feel a degree of ownership over an activity. For example, SARTs may propose a guideline that permits victim advocates to attend detective interviews. If the policy had previously been one that excluded advocates, law enforcement could perceive the new proposal as one that conflicts with the investigative strategy. On the other hand, advocates may feel that support during interviews is a crucial option for victims. When SART recommendations lead to potential turf issues and competing SART responsibilities, the meeting facilitator may want to appoint an ad hoc committee to research and report back on the issues of concern.
For example, Section 679.04 of the California Penal Code states that a victim of sexual assault has the right to have victim advocates and a support person of the victim's choosing present at any interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys. However, law enforcement or the district attorney may exclude the support person from an interview if they determine that the presence of that individual would be detrimental to the purpose of the interview. This statute balances victims' rights with criminal justice objectives and may provide SARTs with enough flexibility to reach a compromise.