International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and corporate sponsor LogIn, Inc. recognized The Montclair State University Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) at the first annual Excellence in Victim Services awards on November 10, 2008 during the Association’s annual conference in San Diego, CA.
Montclair State University was recognized for its efforts to support the victims of crime through formal strategies and initiatives, especially the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which was the first university-based program of its kind in New Jersey and one of a handful on campuses in the nation. The SART team is comprised of University Health Center sexual assault nurse examiners, University police officers and community rape care advocates organized to assist the victims of sexual assault. The team provides victim centered, compassionate, comprehensive care directly on campus. The SART service is offered to any individual who is a victim of sexual assault within the confines of campus grounds or any University student assaulted on or off campus.
MSU SART was created through a joint effort between the Montclair State University Police Department and the University Health Center in 2002.
“We are very pleased to receive this recognition from the IACP for our work in providing support for victims of sexual assault,” says co-founder and Montclair State University Police Chief Paul Cell, “One of the goals of SART has always been to assist victims to access comprehensive services, whether on campus or in the community. The SART program is an important component of community law enforcement, where officers are an integral part of improving the quality of life for our whole campus community.
“The SART program was originally created to address the fact that many college students were seeking care off campus,” says co-founder Donna M. Barry, Director of the University Health Center, “What began as a program to train community members regarding the special needs and rights of college students has now become a model for similar programs on campuses across the country.”
Montclair State’s SART program is now recognized as an innovative, promising practice and a benchmark model for other institutions due to its 1) ability to be victim-centered, 2) comprehensive services, 3) 24/7 availability, and 4) full compliance with federal Clery Act and Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights requirements.
Montclair State University, under the leadership of University Health Center and University Police, recently served as a pilot test site for the National SART toolkit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. In addition, SART founders Donna Barry and Paul Cell are the authors Campus Sexual Assault Response Teams: Development and Operational Management (forthcoming 2009, Civic Research Institute) a book designed to assist campuses in developing a comprehensive, victim-driven response to sexual assault.