The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) of Montgomery was created in June 1996. It is comprised of representatives from law enforcement, the District Attorney's Office, Family Advocacy (Maxwell AFB), Council Against Rape, Baptist Medical Center East, Department of Forensic Sciences, Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission, local universities, victim service agencies, a sexual assault victim/survivor and a media representative.
The team brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the issue of sexual assault. The team produces collaborative efforts to improve the treatment of sexual assault victims and prosecution of their cases. SART of Montgomery seeks to improve the prosecution rate of criminals who commit sexual assaults while providing immediate support for the victims.
SART of Montgomery implemented the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program in March 1997. SANE is a corps of volunteer nurses who are specifically trained to perform the forensics medical examination on victims of sexual assault.
A nurse examiner collects forensic evidence following chain of custody procedures and administers a medical protocol to treat and prevent sexually transmitted disease. This system enables the victim to receive immediate attention which is critical for timely collection of evidence.
SART/SANE has a stand alone facility off of Taylor Road. When a victim presents for an exam, the emergency room is bypassed and the dedicated exam facility is used. This prevents long waits for victims as the forensics medical exam does not meet emergent criteria and is not a priority for the emergency room.
SANE reduces the amount of time involved in forensics medical exams, provides a better environment for the victim and insures quality and thorough evidence gathering.
SART's goals include evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the SART program, improving the quality of the forensic exam, trending judicial outcome and providing data for grant funding and clinical research on sexual assault victims. SART plans to track the number of evidentiary exams performed, law enforcement agency involvement, sexual assault victim demographics, examination time sequence and judicial outcome.
What to Expect
A thorough and timely collection of evidence by a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner; Investigation by law enforcement; support services by the Council Against Rape, inclusive of accompaniment to medical and legal proceedings, individual, group and family counseling.