Baltimore City Sexual Assault Response Team

Our Mission

The mission of the Baltimore City SART is to provide a collaborative, victim-centered, and trauma-informed response to sexual violence in our community. The vision is rooted in a set of core values shared by the members of the SART. The core values are:

  • Collaboration
  • Victim-Centered Response
  • Offender Accountability
  • Trauma-Informed Response

Scope of Purpose

In accordance with national standards, Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) provide an effective response to sexual assault, ensuring competent, coordinated, and comprehensive services for the benefit of the victim and the community. The SART model is based on evidence that collaboration strengthens response and produces more effective outcomes for the victim and for the criminal justice system. The Baltimore City SART will work collaboratively to meet the following objectives:

  1. Develop and implement nationally-recognized best practices in each field of practice.
  2. Develop and implement training designed to ensure responders are adequately equipped and knowledgeable in responding to sexual assault.
  3. Share information, knowledge and expertise among team members.
  4. Educate members of the system and the community to raise awareness of sexual assault, decrease victim blaming and increase offender accountability.
  5. Build relationships among partners that promote constructive communication and conflict resolution.
  6. Conduct ongoing review of sexual assault cases in order to improve the system’s response.
  7. Conduct ongoing systems review and quality assurance efforts, including feedback and input from victims and community members, to shape policies, procedures, education, outreach, and training.

Our team includes representatives from the following agencies:

  • Mercy Medical
  • Baltimore City Police Department Special Crimes Unit
  • Baltimore City Forensics & Crime Lab
  • State's Attorney's Office
  • Turnaround, Inc.
  • Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC)

Baltimore SART History

In 1994 Mercy Medical Center founded the Baltimore City SART in an effort to coordinate medical care and evidentiary examinations for victims of sexual assault in Baltimore City. Original members of the SART included Baltimore City Police, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Sex Offense Unit, Mercy Medical Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program, Mercy Medical Department of Social Work, TurnAround (formerly known as the SADVC), and Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This small cadre of specialists, formed the foundation of the current multidisciplinary SART framework. 

In April, 2008 the aforementioned group came together with a more diverse membership to address the “Jane Doe” or anonymous reporting mandates in the January, 2009 Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization. The new SART proactively identified measures to ensure compliance six months prior to the federal request deadlines. New member agencies included the Baltimore Police Sex Offense, Crime Lab and CODIS, and Legal Units, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Mercy Medical Forensic Nurse Examiner Program (formerly SAFE) and Turnaround. Meetings were held quarterly to maintain open lines of communication, address VAWA mandates regard Jane Doe reporting, and develop a Memorandum of Understanding. 

In July, 2010 SART began to meet on a monthly basis to address challenges and evaluate the SART response system. The Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice (MOCJ), and the Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) joined SART to strengthen the multidisciplinary response to sexual violence in the city.

Services

Seek Justice

The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) runs SALI . The program provides legal services to sexual assault survivors statewide, as well as legal training and technical assistance for professionals working with survivors.

The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office oversees the prosecution of sex crimes, while preparing sexual assault survivors to testify in court and connecting them with essential services.

The Baltimore City Police Department identifies and arrests offenders, while locating and securing all possible evidence for use in prosecution. BCPD also ensures sexual assault survivors receive prompt medical treatment and referrals.

Medical Services

Mercy is the designated treatment center for sexual assault and domestic violence in Baltimore City, with 30 specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) available 24/7. Survivors ages 13 and older can receive a rape kit and prophylactic medications to treat and prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

The Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) at the University of Maryland Medical Center is the designated hospital in Baltimore City for children and young adolescents who have been sexually abused. Pediatric emergency physicians are specially trained to conduct forensic medical assessments and evidentiary examinations for children and adolescents. The PED team includes nurses, doctors, social workers, child life specialists and pastoral caregivers. Together, they provide comprehensive and trauma-informed care to victims and their families.

GBMC provides medical services to survivors 24/7. Survivors can access prophylactic medications for sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention. Their SAFE nurses collect evidence through rape kits up to 5 days after the assault.

Advocacy

The Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) provides all reported victims of child sexual abuse, and their non-offending caretakers, with comprehensive interviews, medical treatment, referrals and crisis counseling services, with a goal of preventing future sexual child abuse.

TurnAround provides advocates that are available 24/7 for support, information, crisis intervention and accompaniment to the hospital, court, police and other appointments. TurnAround also provides follow-up services, such as case management, referrals, as well individual and group counseling.​

Resources

Baltimore County Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Hotline: 410-828-6390
Forge: 414-559-2123
Muslimat Al-Nisaa: 410-466-8686
Power Inside: 410-889-8333
Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE): 1-866-634-8463
House of Ruth: 202-667-7001