Coordinating Councils
last updated February 1, 2006

While SANE/SART or equivalent programs are often the first step in any coordinated community response to sexual violence, other actors, such as health care professionals, clergy, or the media, can play critical roles in providing assistance to victims and holding perpetrators fully accountable for their actions. Some communities have developed coordinating councils or tasks forces to oversee other aspects of the community response, beyond those relating to the immediate and long-term needs of individual victims for safety and support.

As explained a report by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), responsibilities of a community response council or team can also include: 

  • educating the public about sexual assault and services for victims;
  • training and providing technical assistance to professionals involved in responding to survivors; 
  • developing protocols and polices to ensure that all agencies are held accountable for their responses; 
  • ensuring the provision of accessible legal, medical and other services; 
  • working to achieve policy changes "to eliminate sexual assault, ensure justice and safety for survivors, and hold offenders accountable";
  • developing and disseminating public education materials; and
  • evaluating the community's response to sexual violence "by soliciting input from survivors and reviewing data, with the goal of improving the existing systems."

From American College of Emergency Physicians, Evaluation and Management of the Sexual Assaulted or Sexually Abused Patient 26 (June 1999).