SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Center

The Providence Little Company of Mary SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Center, provides compassionate, comprehensive and culturally sensitive treatment for sexual assault victims through collaboration between the hospital, law enforcement agencies, forensic nurse specialists and sexual assault counseling advocates. SART, whose operating costs are funded through Providence Little Company of Mary, local law enforcement agencies and generous community donors, provide services at no cost to the victim.

SART's goal is to counter the experience of sexual assault with a sensitive and competent multidisciplinary response, to support efforts to restore wellbeing to the victim, and to bring responsible person(s) to justice.

According to national statistics, one in six women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime. As disturbing as this statistic is, the number of victims is actually higher, as these reports do not include marital rape, or the many women and men who do not report sexual assault because of fear or shame.

Traditionally, those who do report their assault are often forced to relive the trauma of their assault several times as they provide statements first to police, then hospital personnel, then advocates. They endure waiting in a busy emergency room and may have a health care provider who lacks training and experience in working with sexual assault victims and gathering forensic evidence.

In 1998, Providence Little Company of Mary launched an effort to address these challenges and provide comprehensive, compassionate and culturally sensitive services to victims of sexual assault. The first SART Center opened at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro in April 1998. In July 2000, a second center was opened at the Providence Little Company of Mary Women's Wellness Center in Redondo Beach and moved to Torrance in 2011. Both sites provide care to victims of all ages.

A Unique Community Program

SART's multi-disciplinary approach coordinates immediate and long-term medical care, advocacy, crisis counseling and criminal justice services to sexual assault survivors. SART eliminates repetitive or unnecessary questioning and ensures the proper collection of forensic evidence that often results in the successful conviction of sexual offenders. Participating nurse examiners are available to assist in the prosecution of sexual assault perpetrators by providing expert court testimony when required. Following the exam, advocates provide private, crisis counseling and referrals for ongoing mental health care.

Providence Little Company of Mary sees approximately 200 SART patients every year. Of these patients:

  • 21% of sexual assaults are children under the age of 15
  • 22% are 15 - 18 years old
  • 85% are female and 15% are male
  • 68% of the victims know their attacker

If you are a victim of sexual assault

Remember it wasn't your fault.

  • Find a safe environment - anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
  • Preserve evidence of the attack - don't bathe or brush your teeth. Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the attacker.
  • If you would like to have a sexual assault exam done to collect evidence, contact your local police station directly, call a rape hotline, or go to a nearby hospital emergency room to request a SART exam.

If you need someone to talk to, call a local sexual assault hotline:

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Program: 310-764-1403

For more information about SART, please call 310-241-4353.

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