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What Do Sexual Assault Cases Look Like in Our Community? A Sexual Assault Response Team’s Workbook for Case File Review

The task of ensuring safety, justice, and healing as it relates to sexual violence is daunting. A team’s success rests on its ability to build on a sexual assault response team’s (SART’s) success in responding to victims/survivors through a case review process with an eye toward continual improvement.

This workbook is a step-by-step guide that leads SARTs through the Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI) at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) process of reviewing case files based on the criminal legal system. In this workbook, you will find an effective process for identifying areas where your SART successfully responds to victims/survivors and areas where your SART can improve. Each member of the team will learn specific information about how they can further develop or sustain their response to be the most victim/survivor-centered. Throughout the case file review process, SARTs learn about their actual criminal/legal response to victims/survivors versus what they believe is happening during the response. The workbook provides insights into how to make connections that help improve the criminal legal response for victims/survivors and agencies while also helping teams discover lots of opportunities and best practices to explore. Case file review can provide evidence to support necessary changes in policy and practice.

This workbook is divided into four chapters that contain various activities to lead the SART through the case file review process. Each of the four chapters contains activities designed to generate discussions for each step in the case review process. The basics covered in the Foundation Chapter will answer general questions related to the process. The Preparation Chapter offers guidance for teams preparing for their own case file review: creating agreements to be used during the case file review, discussing trauma-informed practices, determining which cases to review, and building confidentiality into the process. In the Case File Review Chapter, teams will practice conducting a mock review and complete a review of their own cases. The Findings and Recommendations Chapter supports teams as they assess what they learned during the process and determine how each partner will move forward.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-TA-AX-K014 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Case File Review, Sexual Assault Response Teams Sexual Assault Response Teams National

Last modified: 10/3/2023