SARTs and Their Areas of Impact
Over the last three years, I have gotten a lot of questions from teams who are proposing a whole bunch of big projects and side activities that aren’t focused on systems changes that they can control. Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) usually want feedback or advice on these projects and activities. I usually guide teams and coordinators back to their mission statements as well as the question, “What areas of impact can a team uniquely affect that no others can?” This has lead me to develop and train on SART areas of impact. This month, I want to talk about the four areas of impact that we can have direct influence over—areas that no one else in the community can have influence.
At the center is where SARTs can and should focus their time and energy. As service providers and points of disclosure, our work must center around and stay connected with victims/survivors’ experiences with the system. When we think of every action, every project, every assessment of services, our focus has to keep the victim/survivor experience as the heart of our work—this is how we develop better systems’ responses and more trust from those who need to be able to access trustworthy systems for help.
We’ll spend the remainder of the month talking about what each of the other areas of impact can look like, but for today, let’s remember why we do the work of the SART—to improve V/S experience in order to increase accountability for those who perpetrate, which helps create safer communities.