Develop a SART
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Law Enforcement Officials

Campus Law Enforcement

Because of the prevalence of sexual violence at institutions of higher education, it is essential that colleges and universities establish comprehensive law enforcement and security responses for victims of sexual assault. For example, the California Campus Sexual Assault Task Force encourages every institution of higher education in the state to create first responder and investigation protocols for responding to reported sexual assaults and to establish ongoing training to reinforce the protocols. Some of the task force's protocol recommendations follow:67

  • Respect victims' requests for confidentiality and provide referrals for support services when victims report anonymously.
  • Notify appropriate authorities if the institution does not investigate sexual assaults and victims choose to report.
  • Notify and mobilize critical campus units after a sexual assault.
  • Inform victims of their rights, including their rights to having advocates or support persons.
  • Mobilize campus and community service providers to meet victims' medical, emotional, spiritual, or housing needs.
  • Transport victims to or assist victims in obtaining medical forensic exams.
  • Coordinate services with other campus offices, such as health centers and judicial affairs.
  • Work with prosecuting attorneys or other criminal justice personnel.
  • Provide data to comply with legal reporting requirements.

Some SARTs have concerns about documenting protocols because there could be criminal justice implications if the protocols are not followed. To offset this concern, a Georgia statute addresses the issue proactively. The statute, which could be adapted for use by other jurisdictions, reads in part: "A failure by an agency to follow the protocol shall not constitute an affirmative or other defense to prosecution of a sexual assault, nor shall a failure by an agency to follow the protocol give rise to a civil cause of action."68