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Sexual Assault Response Teams & Systems Change

What is a SART?

A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is one strategy a community can use to improve their systems response to sexual violence. A team is made up of multi-disciplinary representatives who focus on collaboration for systems change. This typically includes law enforcement, prosecution, advocacy, medical, and corrections. Some communities also invite representatives from other disciplines, such as mental health, culturally specific groups, campus systems, or any primary point of disclosure or entry into help-seeking. There are two types of SARTs: Acute Response SARTs and System Change SARTs. Acute Response SARTs focus on a singular case and the responding individuals. The results of Acute Response SARTs are usually small and targeted to those involved. System Change SARTs focus on multiple cases and the agencies involved throughout the cases. The results of System Change SARTs are usually long-term and widespread. Each community must decide which type of SART works for them.


What is Systems Change?

Systems change is working towards improving individual systems response to sexual violence while also increasing collaboration between systems. Systems changes SARTs focus on:

  • Enhancing the strengths of practice, policy, procedures, and collaboration
  • Addressing the shortcomings of practice, policy, procedures, and collaboration
  • Ensuring support and engagement for victims throughout all processes
  • Continuously improving as time and communities change

System Change can impact individual practices, agency policies, systems procedures, and interagency collaboration. Systems Change SARTs are making changes as they need to best meet the needs of victims/survivors as well as staying current on promising practices and new legislation. For more information on SARTs or systems change, reach us at svji@mncasa.org.

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Last modified: 7/7/2022