Put the Focus on Victims
skip navigation 

Raising Awareness Through the Media—Ohio


  • Used the media to raise awareness among the general public and professionals about the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team.
  • Reached out to a radio program that is popular with law enforcement and other professionals, as well as the general public.
  • Had approximately 30 minutes to introduce listeners to three members of the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team (an advocate, a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), and a sergeant from emergency medical services), to explain the purpose and practices of the Cuyahoga County SART, to disseminate local and national sexual assault statistics, and to answer hosts' and listeners' questions.


  • To raise the awareness of law enforcement and other professionals about the importance of SART, show where SANE programs in Cuyahoga County are located, answer questions, and provide strategies for best practices.
  • To raise general public awareness of sexual assault by—
    • Disseminating national and local statistics.
    • Debunking rape myths.
    • Providing information about why sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the country.
    • Explaining the SART model.
    • Highlighting the importance of SANE programs and showing where the programs are located.
    • Providing information on programs and services available to victims through the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and other such organizations.

Making the Idea a Reality

  • The team contacted a radio station that featured the show Call the Cops to raise public awareness about the Cuyahoga County SART. This was a perfect venue because the show has both a professional and public audience.
  • SART members were interviewed on the show to explain the SART model and why it is so important for individuals and communities.
  • Cuyahoga County's SART then contacted media personnel from other radio and television stations to expand outreach.
  • Cuyahoga County's SART also invited media personnel to participate in SART events and some SART meetings (when appropriate).

Benefits to Victims and Victim Service Professionals

  • Victims become knowledgeable about SART initiatives, where SANE programs are located, and what services and programs are available.
  • Rape myths are addressed and dispelled.
  • Professionals listening to the broadcast who work with victims (e.g., law enforcement, prosecutors, medical staff) will become more knowledgeable about the SART, available programs and services, and best practices.

Evaluation Efforts

  • Feedback received from the radio audience was overwhelmingly positive.

Lessons Learned

  • SART members have a lot more work to do to establish lasting relationships with the media. While Call the Cops and other radio and television appearances are a start, the team needs to do much more outreach and networking with the media.
  • The team also needs to do a better job of promoting appearances on shows such as Call the Cops to encourage more members of the general listening public to call in and ask questions.

Contact Information
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
Lindsay Fello-Sharpe, MSSA, LSW
Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team Manager
1370 Ontario Street, Suite 420
Cleveland, OH 44113
216–619–6194, ext. 117

Cleveland Emergency Medical Services
Sergeant Chris Chumita
1701 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
216–664–2020, ext. 250