National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault


left barAmerican Indian / Alaska Native  victims of sexual violence may come into contact with people from  multiple disciplines and jurisdictions during the course of their journeys towards healing.


Victims in Indian Country  may undergo a forensic medical examination with a SANE nurse, discuss the facts of her case with multiple law enforcement agencies, receive services from victim advocacy and victim witness providers, and assist tribal, federal, and/or state prosecutors in seeking criminal justice against her perpetrator(s).  If done on a piecemeal basis, this process imposes an overwhelming burden on the victim. 


Many tribal communities have developed a multi-disciplinary, inter-jurisdictional team response in responding to the varied needs of American Indian / Alaska Native  victims of sexual violence.  Commonly referred to as a “Sexual Assault Response Team” (SART), the effective SART brings justice and service providers together to provide a streamlined, coordinated response to sexual violence.


The SART model has become the standard for responding comprehensively to victims of sexual assault.  Ideally, SARTs are tailored to the legal, cultural, healthcare, and service needs of the jurisdictions that they serve.  SARTS can be informal, cooperative partnerships or they can be formalized, coordinated, multidisciplinary responses that meet on a regular basis. that takes into account the victim’s feelings, make victims' physical and emotional needs a priority, hold offenders accountable, and promote public safety.



The most commonly included  members of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) are:


Victim Advocates

۞ Law Enforcement
۞ Prosecutors
۞ Victim Witness Personnel Working For Law Enforcement or Prosecutors

Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners


Because SARTs are tailored to fit the individual communities that they serve, tribes can incorporate others into their team including: SAFESTARs, 911 emergency dispatchers, emergency medical services, corrections, sex offender management professionals, hospitals, elders, and others.

Participation in a SART requires strict confidentiality from all of the team members.



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AI/AN Sexual Assault Response Team Model



This infographic, produced by the Office of Victims of Crime, discusses the agency's goal to institute effective Sexual Assault Response Team initiatives throughout Indian Country.



Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault - Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Manual



This document is a protocol for all Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) in Colorado.






Sexual Assault policy - IHS



This document, authored by the Indian Health Service (IHS), discusses IHS's compre-hensive policy on sexual assault. Some of the notable topics that IHS's policy tackles are: confidentiality, GLBTQI survivors, elderly survivors, chain of custody issues, evidentiary issues, SART training, and proper sexual assault examinations.






American Indian and Alaska Native Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-SART Initiative



This document provides a summary of the Office of Victims of Crime's American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Sexual Assault Response Team (SANE-SART) Initiative (Initiative). Under the project, the Office for Victims of Crime provides support to enhance the capacity of AI/AN communities to provide coordinated community, victim-centered sexual assault responses to adult and child victims. The Initiative focuses on enhancing existing SANE-SART efforts to improve federal, state, local, and tribal response to victims of sexual violence in those communities.



The Response to Sexual Assault: Removing Barriers to Services and Justice



This document, produced by the Michigan Sexual Assault Systems Response Task Force, analyzes the current Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) model in Michigan and makes suggestions for improvement.



A Model Protocol for Response to Adult Sexual Assault Cases



This document, produced by the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, outlines New Hampshire's model Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) protocol.



Guidelines for Community Response to Sexual Assault in Alaska



This document outlines Alaska's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) protocol.





Developing a SART Team



This document, authored by the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, outlines a model Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) protocol for the state of Kentucky.






North Dakota Model Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Policy



This document outlines a model Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) protocol for the state of North Dakota.




Oregon State Sexual Assault Protocol Handbook



This document discusses Oregon's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) protocol.






Pennsylvania SART Guidelines



This document, authored by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, discusses guidelines for Pennsylvania's Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART).


National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault, a project by the Southwest Center for Law and Policy © 2013

This project was supported by  Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K045 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessary represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.All rights reserved. | Privacy policy