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Sexual assault/violence has been identified as a national public health concern. More than 18 million women and an estimated 3 million men report being raped during their lifetime. As a result of the sexual violence, victims can endure a complexity of detrimental mental and physical effects. It is imperative that a community’s sexual assault response is a collective response, aiding in healing and promoting justice. However, most communities’ sexual assault response involves several agencies responding autonomously and failing to collaborate throughout the response. Recently, this type of response process has been identified as failing to adequately assist sexual assault victims. Identified problems include inconsistent response services, victim blaming, lack of reporting, lack of prosecution and conviction, and discord among responding agencies. With the goal of improving sexual assault victims’ experiences and legal results within the criminal justice system, jurisdictions have begun to develop and implement sexual assault response teams (SARTs). SARTs unite key sexual assault response stakeholders as a unified multidisciplinary response team that provides a coordinated and collaborative sexual assault response from first contact and beyond. Current research suggests SARTs are improving victim outcomes, and both the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) support the collaborative multidisciplinary sexual assault response. It was identified that Lawrence County, Indiana provided no collaborative multidisciplinary sexual assault response. The purpose of this project proposal is to develop and implement a SART to better serve victims of sexual assault in Lawrence County, Indiana.

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