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Evaluation of the Rhode Island Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2005
60 pages

This report presents evaluation results regarding the legal effects of receiving services from the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Rhode Island.


Over the past 25 years there has been a concerted effort to reform sexual assault laws and to develop community sexual assault recovery programs. The SART program in Rhode Island is a coordinated effort operated by the Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center in partnership with the victim, the police department, and the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General. The current evaluation of the SART program probed the legal effects of a client receiving SART services. Data were drawn from the SART files, the domestic violence/sexual assault reporting form, the Sexual Assault Police Incident Reports, and from the automated Court Connect file and includes information from 238 sexual assault cases initiated from September 2002 through August 2003 and followed until July 2004. The analysis describes the SART process, examines the characteristics of victims who are SART clients and victims who are not clients, and explores the effects of SART participation on legal case outcomes. The SART program was assessed as having a positive impact on clients as demonstrated by the high rate of demand for services. Despite the high demand for SART services, there appeared to be no effect on the legal outcomes of cases. However, it was noted that SART clients were less likely to have an initial finding of probable cause by the police and that SART clients were more likely to be assaulted by a friend, acquaintance, or relative. The discussion focuses on the extra-legal standards applied to sexual assault cases, such as evidence of victim resistance. Tables, footnotes, bibliography, appendix, chart

Date Published: April 1, 2005