Statewide SART Advisory Committee

Statewide SART Advisory Committee 2015-2016 Recommendations

The Statewide SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Advisory Committee is a statewide group coordinated by FCASV and comprised of representatives from a broad range of disciplines whose work brings them into contact with rape survivors. The committee works to assess and improve Florida’s response to survivors of sexual violence at the state and local level. In the 2015-2016 year, FCASV commenced a special session of the Statewide SART, focusing its efforts exclusively on sexual assault forensic exam program administration and management. 

Membership for the 2015-2016 year was comprised of experts who manage and administer forensic exam programs that are led by certified rape crisis programs. FCASV commends the hard work and dedication of the Statewide SART members. The recommendations developed by the Statewide SART are intended to communicate best practices amongst forensic exam programs.

We encourage policy makers and community leaders to enact these recommendations and share these resources in order to provide victims of sexual violence the response they deserve and the services they need to overcome the trauma of rape. 

Statewide SART Advisory Committee 2014-2015 Recommendations

The Statewide SART has been working since August 2014 via conference call, email and at in-person meetings to research and compile recommendations for the 2015 year.  In existence since 2008, the Statewide SART Advisory Committee has had a significant impact on best practices for teams across the stateThe 2015 recommendations built upon past work in the form of subcommittees including victim services, law enforcement and forensics. 

The Forensics Subcommittee’s worked during the 2014-2015 year to further identify “best practice” recommendations for the State of Florida agencies regarding the collection, storage, and testing of evidence gathered from survivors of sexual assault. The subcommittee produced three main recommendations: physical evidence recovery kit directions for suspects, a sample of what a PERK should contain, and forensic exam model facility recommendations.

The Victim Services Subcommittee focused on expanding resources, sample documents and suggested activities for individual SARTs.  In particular, the Victim Services Subcommittee developed a SART development slide presentation that can be used by individuals interested in initiating a SART in their community. Members drew upon their experiences in their own communities as well as on input from state and national resources to develop more hands-on approaches to SART development and retention.  The Victim Services Subcommittee also served as a sounding board for some of the legislative initiatives that FCASV took on in the spring.

The Law Enforcement Subcommittee developed and delivered an eight-hour in-person training on trauma informed sexual assault investigations for law enforcement officers.  Trauma informed investigations have gained traction across the country as law enforcement agencies are realizing the benefits of working with survivors of sexual violence in a different way.  FCASV staff and allied professionals will continue to provide this training in the 2015-2016 year.

Members of the Statewide SART Advisory Committee for the 2014-2015 Year Include:

Melissa Ashton, MSW
Director, Victim Advocacy Program
Florida State University

Terri Augspurger, MSN, RN, CFN, SANE-A, SANE-P, AFN-B/C, DABFN, DABFE
Clinical Forensic Nurse Examiner, Independent Instructor and Consultant

Dr. Wade Barnes, MD
Physician
North Florida OB-GYN Associates

Nicole Bishop, MSW
Director, Justice Services and Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center
Palm Beach County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center

David Brand
Law Enforcement Coordinator
Florida Sheriffs Association

Hon. John L. Burns
County Judge
Charlotte County Justice Center

Catherine Cothran, MS, F-ABC
Senior Forensic Scientist
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. William T. Crews
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Jennifer Dritt, LCSW (LA)
Executive Director
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Lorraine Elder, MSW
Program Administrator
Sexual Violence Prevention Program, Florida Department of Health

Michelle English
Executive Director
Project Help

Grace Frances
Director, Certification and Special Projects
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Captain Eric Garcia
Criminal Investigations Division
Miami-Dade Police Department

Susan Garcia, MSW
Special Victims Bureau Victim Advocate
Miami-Dade Police Department

Christina Harris
Bureau Chief
Florida Office of the Attorney General Advocacy and Grants Management

LeAndra Higginbotham, Ph.D.
Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor – Toxicology
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Concetta Holmes, LCSW, CA
Victim Advocate Coordinator
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. Richard Mankewich
Major Case/Sex Crimes Squad
Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Tabitha McDonald
Government Affairs Coordinator
Florida Sheriffs Association

Theresa Prichard, Esq.
Director, Advocacy and Legal Assistance to Victims
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Marcella F. Scott
Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor – Biology
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

 


 

Statewide SART Advisory Committee 2013-2014 Recommendations

SW SART 2013-2014 Cover

The Statewide SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Advisory Committee is a statewide group coordinated by Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and comprised of representatives from a broad range of disciplines whose work brings them into contact with rape survivors.  The committee works to assess and improve Florida’s response to survivors of sexual violence at the state and local level.  In developing these recommendations and tools in this document, the members worked diligently to balance the needs of survivors with the complex requirements of the criminal justice system.

The recommendations and resources are intended to communicate best practices among communities and to provide responders with specific information about the various needs of different populations of sexual assault survivors and the agencies that serve them.  The SART Advisory Committee’s work in the 2013-2014 year focused on three main areas:  Forensics, Victim Services, and Policy.  Each subcommittee tasked itself with providing insight and recommendations in pressing issues related to the response to sexual violence in Florida.

The Committee concentrated largely on making best practice recommendations for protocols and policies.  These include the following:

  • Recommended updates to the Adult Sexual Assault Protocol: Initial Forensic Examination 2007
  • Recommended strangulation documentation paperwork
  • Recommended digital photography policy and procedures for adult sexual assault forensic examinations
  • Recommended incapacitated patient protocol
  • Recommended consent for forensic exams
  • Recommended medical history/initial assessment paperwork
  • Recommended updates to the forensic exam documentation paperwork
  • Recommended drug facilitated sexual assault protocol

While no community is compelled to adopt these recommendations, the Statewide SART Advisory Committee provides these recommendations based on extensive research and consultation with experts in the field.  This research included a survey of certified rape crisis centers in Florida.    A summary of those survey results is available in the appendices of the document.

The underlying theme in all of the recommendations and resources is building the capacity of individual agencies and SARTs to address the diverse needs of sexual assault survivors.  Florida’s communities have come a long way in establishing protocols for responding to victims and collectively working out problems when they arise. The goal of this document is to give communities tools to enhance and broaden this work.   

The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence commends the hard work and dedication of the SART Advisory Committee members.  On their behalf we encourage policy makers and community leaders to enact these recommendations and share these resources in order to provide victims of sexual violence the response they deserve and the services they need to overcome the trauma of rape.


Statewide SART Advisory Committee 2012 Recommendations

The SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Advisory Committee is a statewide group coordinated by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and comprised of representatives from a broad range of disciplines whose work brings them into contact with rape victims.  The committee works to assess and improve Florida’s response to victims of sexual violence at the state and local level.  In developing these recommendations and tools in this document, the members worked diligently to balance the needs of victims with the complex requirements of the criminal justice system.

Report Highlights

Walk in Their Shoes Act Recommendations

The SART Advisory Committee provides law enforcement agencies with recommendations for implementing the 2011 Walk in Their Shoes Act which allows victims of sexual battery to “review the final [law enforcement] report and provide a statement as to the accuracy of the final report” (794.052(1)(c), F.S.).

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

The SART Advisory Committee developed a new webpage dedicated to issues of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). The webpage is now available at http://www.fcasv.org/child-sexual-abuse/domestic-minor-sex-trafficking and includes facts and statistics about DMST and links to resources and services in Florida. The webpage also includes special information sections focusing on faith-based community members, youth organizations, teachers, school resource officers and health care providers.

Fact Sheets on Sexual Violence and Rape Crisis Services Map

The SART Advisory Committee created three fact sheets for rape crisis programs to use as quick references on statistics of sexual assault in the United States, the needs of male victims of sexual violence, and the low incidence of false reporting of sexual assault. The committee also created a map of certified rape crisis center services and university/college counseling services by county. (See attached.)

Guidelines for Forensic Examinations for Sexual Assault Victims Not Reporting to Law Enforcement

The committee updated the Guidelines to account for changes in best practices for evidence storage.

Assessing the Effectiveness of the 2010 and 2011 Recommendations

In order to assess successes and gaps in the implementation of past recommendations, the committee surveyed the 30 certified rape crisis centers, 10 college and university victim advocate/counseling programs and law enforcement evidence storage personnel. Based on the findings, the SART Advisory Committee recommends that rape crisis programs continue pursuing protocol development to provide forensic exams to non-reporting victims, continue working to develop SARTs in counties that lack them, coordinate multidisciplinary cross-training annually, and include information on their websites about services for non-reporting victims.

2012 Statewide SART Advisory Committee Final Recommendations

 


 

2011 Statewide SART Advisory Committee Final Report

Elements of a Prosecutable Case Full Survey Results

 


 

2010 Statewide SART Advisory Committee Recommendations

Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Paperwork (Scroll down to find it on the A-Z Index)

Detailed Instructions for Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Paperwork (Scroll down to find it on the A-Z Index)

Sample Information Sheet for Non-reporting victims

Sexual Assault Response Team Resources