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SARTs and Their Areas of Impact: Individual Practices

When Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) are thinking about where to start making improvements and changes that will positively impact the victim/survivor experience, many folks begin with individual practices. This is just what it sounds like. This area of impact focuses on what each and every individual who responds to sexual violence disclosures does when they are working with a victim/survivor. Most teams start or focus on the actions of individual responders—usually when something has gone or is going poorly. However, when we think about the kinds of work and projects that the team can take on, we have to think of every individual that responds. What is going well? What isn’t going well? How do we take action on our knowledge?

These three driving questions provide us the foundation to explore what individuals are doing that should continue and what we might need to make some changes around. So, if your team is struggling to find projects or purpose, one place where your team can uniquely influence and make systems change is by evaluating the actions and processes that each responder uses. After learning what’s happening on the ground, the team can use the information to begin to make changes that can positively impact the victim/survivor experience with each responder, each discipline, and each system.

Individual practices is an easier place to start for those who don’t quite know how to tackle systems change. As long as you keep the victim/survivor experience at the heart of your work, then, you can focus on the area of impact over which your team can exert the most influence.

Have ideas or suggestions for others as they focus on the impact area of individual practice? Share below!