Sexual assault response teams (SARTs): an empirical review of their effectiveness and challenges to successful implementation.

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) have been found to be effective ways to respond to sexual assaults. SARTs are effective ways to create inter-disciplinary communication/interactions, and they are also helpful in aiding in victims’ legal cases and help-seeking.



Summary: In most communities there are little or even negative interactions between the legal, medical, and mental health agencies and professionals that respond to rape/sexual assault.  This article presented a historical background of SARTs in the United States and a literature review to examine challenges that SARTs often experience.  This article relied upon three past studies that examined the effectiveness of SART teams in the U.S.   Past research showed that there was often confusion amongst SART team members as to what role each person would play within the team, and who that person should in turn report to. The past research also suggested that higher levels of satisfaction and effectiveness of SARTS were reported when the team and the community participated in meetings and/or engaged in online or in person discussions actively.  These findings led the current authors to report that effective and continual team training would be imperative to creating an effective SART.


Applications: This article highlighted the need for further research on SARTs.  While SARTs have been proven to be effective in some communities, there are still many challenges, including funding and a uniform way of communicating between agencies.



Limitations:  Further SART evaluation should focus on the victims’ experience with the team in order to better evaluate SART effectiveness.  This is a gap in the current literature.

Greeson, M., & Campbell, R.
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Trauma Violence & Abuse.
0:Advanced online publication
0:Advanced online publication
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