Something a lot of folks don’t know about our community is that we have a wonderful, well-working, SART – Sexual Assault Response Team. Sexual Assault is a polarizing issue that we all want to think, and hope, is not of concern in our daily lives. The reality is that it is something that happens here, and NO ONE is immune. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, education level, and so on. Thankfully, our community of Rutherford County is diligent in ensuring that any one who may fall victim to this heinous crime is supported, is believed, and is cared for to the extent that they need or want.
Kim Reynolds, M.A., is our program’s SART Coordinator and Sexual Assault Counselor. She is also Vice President of our SART Team. She gives us a quick excerpt as to what SART is and our agency’s role.
“Rutherford County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a victim centered multidisciplinary approach to facing sexual assaults in our county. Our SART team is comprised of law enforcement (both county and city), The State’s Attorney’s office, medical, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE’s), MTSU, Adult Protective Services and of course Advocacy, which is our program.
Our role on this team is to advocate for the victim throughout the process. In the case of a victim who reports to the hospital to ask for a rape kit, we have volunteer and staff advocates who accompany EVERY victim and stay with them for as long as the victim chooses through the exam process. If the victim wishes, we also accompany them to law enforcement interviews, court proceedings and trial. We ensure that the victim feels heard, supported and respected throughout the entire process.
If any member of the SART team sees a potential issue, or wants do discuss something to make things better for the victims, they bring it forward at our bi-monthly meetings so that the team, as a whole, can discuss the issue and find solutions.”
This team is trained, and committed, to quickly respond to cases of sexual assault while providing professional and appropriate services. SART responders make services for victims a top priority because we know that sexual assault can cause tremendous distress and greatly impact the life of a victim, and our community. Victims of sexual assault may choose to activate one or all components of the Sexual Assault Response Team.
For more information on SART or to see the official protocol, email Kim at email@example.com or call our main office (615) 896-7377