The YWCA of Northwest Georgia and its partnerships with district attorneys, health care and law enforcement professionals have strengthened a comprehensive network of services for victims of sexual assault. Since November 2005, the YWCA Sexual Assault Response Team has been a tremendous collaboration among YWCA volunteers and staff, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, nurses, doctors, and heath care administrators each working to ensure victims receive emergency medical attention, counseling and legal advocacy.
In 2005, through a partnership with WellStar Health System, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department, and the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Unit, the YWCA began the Cobb County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and the protocol was updated in 2015. Vic Reynolds, District Attorney of the Cobb Judicial Circuit states, “The SART program provides a key component to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases in our community. In addition to the immediate assistance SART provides, this program also makes sure there is follow up care in a number of vital areas that victims need.”
“As the only provider of sexual assault crisis services for victims over the age of 13 in Cobb, Cherokee, and Paulding counties, the YWCA Sexual Assault Teams provide victims immediate access to a forensic medical examination and crisis counseling, follow up medical care, legal advocacy and assistance, as well as, follow-up support for victims and their family/friends support network,” shares Holly Tuchman, CEO and Executive Director of the YWCA of Northwest Georgia.”SafePath now has the capability to complete forensic exams for those victims who are twelve years of age and under.”
Sarah Pederson, SANE-A, BSN, RN, presented some staggering statistics at the SART Meeting which was held on April 13, 2016.
All of the YWCA SANE cases continue to be worked at the YWCA and authorized WellStar facilities: