Sexual Assault Response Team

 

Sex crimes are far more common than most people believe. 1 in 6 women and 1 in men are sexually assaulted during their lives, many before the age of 25. Shockingly, arrest, prosecution, and conviction rates remain extremely low for these crimes. Response to sexual assault and human trafficking needs to improve – not only to provide justice in individual cases but safety in our community. Since the majority of sexual assault and human trafficking perpetrators are serial offenders, and they are likely to continue to perpetrate violence in our communities if they are not held accountable for their crimes.

What is a SART?

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) are partnerships of agencies addressing the many roadblocks to justice in sex crime cases. These multidisciplinary teams of professionals work together to provide inter-agency, coordinated responses to sexual assault and human trafficking . This collaborative approach to sexual violence helps meet the needs of victims/survivors, and more effectively holds offenders accountable.

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The Northern Hills Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) was formed in 2010 in order to create a uniform response to sexual assault in our communities. Representatives from law enforcement, states' attorney's office, Regional Health Hospitals, Black Hills State University and the Artemis House Shelter serve on the SART. Their mission is to provide education and increase awareness about sexual assault in order to prevent sex crimes, provide quality services to victims, and hold offenders accountable for their actions. 

Sexual assault is a crime. Any unwanted sexual contact is sexual assault. It does not matter if there is a current or past relationship between the victim and offender. Anyone can be the victim sexual assault. In a majority of cases the perpetrators know their victim. 

FACTS:

  • When an assault is reported, the victim will be encouraged to report it to law enforcement. An advocate will be available to help with this. However it is an adult victim's choice as to whether to report or not.
  • No one deserves to be sexually assaulted even if they have been drinking. When an assault is reported, the focus is placed on helping the victim. Hospital staff, police and advocates are trained to understand the effects of sexual assault trauma. They understand that alcohol or drugs may have been used to alter a persons memory of the events.
  • Counselors, advocates and hospital staff provide confidential services.
  • Most sexual assaults occur with someone known to the victim.
  • Men, women and children can be victims of sexual assault.

Remember - assailants are responsible for their actions.

 
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NEVER THE VICTIM'S FAULT.