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National Institute Recap: Part 3

Fatima Jayoma | Rural Projects Coordinator at SVJI @MNCASA

Happy Wednesday! We’re back with more recordings from the 2021 National Institute for SART Leaders. In addition to SVJI @MNCASA staff members, other TA (technical assistance) providers and SART Coordinators were able to join us at the National Institute.

Here are three more presentations from the National Institute:

Title: Beyond Conviction Rates: Measuring Success in Sexual Assault Prosecutions


Jonathan H. Kurland, Attorney Advisor at AEquitas


Success in criminal cases is traditionally measured by conviction rates, but convictions alone fail to capture the unique challenges in sexual violence cases. The crimes themselves—how they happen, who commits them, who is victimized—are widely misunderstood by those who have not been educated on perpetrator-victim dynamics and victim responses to trauma. Too often, a singular focus on conviction rates causes even well-intentioned law enforcement officers and prosecutors to “weed out” difficult cases, based on a perception that the cases will prove to be “unwinnable”—that the legal and factual challenges are insurmountable. As a result, few cases make it to the courtroom and even fewer result in conviction.

This presentation will discuss promising practices for the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases as well as performance measures to assess how we are actually doing. The presenter will discuss how data collection and case review can help us review and understand our decision-making processes. The suggested performance measures will assess the quality of justice system interventions and encourage allied professionals (the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, healthcare providers, and victim advocates) responding to sexual assault to see themselves as key stakeholders.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

  • At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be better able to:
  • Implement promising sexual assault prosecution strategies.
  • Integrate performance measures into existing data systems.
  • Measure prosecutorial effectiveness in ways beyond conviction rates.

Title: Starting a Sexual Assault Response Team in Rural Arizona


Noemi Elizalde, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Coordinator at Mariposa Community Health Center


This 90-minute training will focus on creating a SART in a rural community. A SART coordinator will discuss her experience with how she engaged her community to create a coordinated community response to sexual assault to improve survivor well-being. She will share strategies for engaging and conducting outreach with SART members, protocol development, and overcoming resource scarcity. This training is applicable for any responder or community member that wants to start a SART.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Discuss strategies to starting a sexual assault response team
  • Analyze challenges that are unique to SARTs in rural and border communities and solutions to overcome those
  • Explore creative ways to engage SART members

Title: A Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Victim Centered Care


Kim Nash, Forensic Nursing Specialist at the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN)


The success of Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) hinges on active involvement from each key stakeholder. An MDT that is comprised of a healthy collaborative group of advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, college campus representatives, behavioral health representatives, and sexual assault nurse examiners/forensic nurse examiners (SANEs/FNEs), will find their approach and response to trauma-informed, victim-centered care to not only be successful, but sustainable. Through the lens of the forensic nurse, challenges faced by key stakeholders while building a collaborative victim-centered response will be discussed with a particular focus on sustainability of the medical forensic team. As a result of this interactive audience presentation, participants will gain a better understanding of the importance of victim-centered care through a well-functioning MDT model.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Identify significant stakeholder contributions to building a collaborative victim response.
  • Recognize challenges faced by key stakeholders while building a collaborative victim-centered response: through the lens of the forensic nurse and a focus on sustainability of the medical forensic team.
  • Describe important steps to create and sustain a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach by the multidisciplinary team.

We’ll be back next week with more recordings from the 2021 National Institute.

Coming Soon:

  • Community Centered Teams
  • Working Collaboratively to Provide the Best Medical Forensic Care, Even When There Is No SANE in Sight
  • Centering the Margins and Building Community Centered Teams

If you have questions or need training/technical assistance, please reach out to us at svji@mncasa.org.