Reading Between the Lines: Case File Review for SARTs

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September 27, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Throughout our country, communities have long struggled with their response to sexual violence. In many instances, the criminal justice system has shown itself to be inadequate and has often failed those who most need it to work. From initial police reports to decisions that prosecutors make in court, the U.S. criminal justice system has a long way to go before sexual assault is treated as the violent crime that it is, offenders are held accountable for their actions, and victims of sexual assault are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.


In 2016, the Sexual Violence Justice Institute came out with a toolkit entitled What Do Sexual Assault Cases Look Like in Our Community? A SART Coordinator’s Guidebook for Case File Review, which is a step-by-step guide for sexual assault response teams to use to look at case files to identify what is working well within their community’s response as well as identify gaps as a way to create lasting systems change. Case files hold the “official” record of a survivor’s experience. From the language used in capturing the experience to steps taken or not taken, case files offer great insight into frameworks responders use, the ways that their work is organized, and how the disciplines interact with each other.


Through the process of looking at case files, SARTs are able to look at the system as a whole to learn more about the current response to sexual violence. While case file review can present challenges, it is a powerful tool to identify and implement strategies for sexual assault cases to be more successfully investigated and documented and to evaluate current policies and practices of SART agencies.

From this webinar, participants should leave with a better understanding of how case file review can be used as an evaluative measure and method of systems change work as well as gain practical skills and tools to implement case file review in their community.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Understand how case file review can be used to assess the criminal justice response to sexual assault.
  • Recognize the importance of reviewing cases as a strategy of systems change work.
  • Implement strategies for conducting case file review, including applying practical skills and steps for how to engage SARTs in Case File Review.
  • Apply best practices to address concerns about confidentiality and improving the system response.