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How Do SARTs Help Victims?

SARTs can diminish the short- and long-term impacts of trauma by mobilizing interdisciplinary expertise to assess and address victims' needs from the acute stage to recovery. The cooperative partnerships formed by SARTs can validate victims' concerns, inform victims of available options for addressing their concerns, and improve service accessibility for diverse populations. The team model also can improve cross-discipline communication and enable victims to provide feedback on their cases.

More specifically, SARTs help victims by, among other activities1

  • Supporting victims during invasive medical procedures and difficult interviews.
  • Supporting victims emotionally as they navigate the criminal justice system.
  • Designating specific facilities for forensic medical exams that make timely responses a priority and offer victims privacy.
  • Providing medical assessments and prophylactic treatment for sexually transmitted infections and to address reproductive health concerns.
  • Ensuring that medical and legal providers collect evidence effectively and follow a chain of custody so that it stands up in court.
  • Building a network of community referrals to meet victims' practical, emotional, spiritual, and economic needs (e.g., temporary shelter, transportation, employment intervention, home security, assistance with restitution and victims' compensation claims).
  • Minimizing the retraumatization of victims, often through joint or coordinated interviews to reduce the number of times victims must tell their stories.