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Section 8: Glossary


Active case management: SARTs (typically a subset of the full team) engaging in conversations about open cases in order to ensure coordination, with the goal of timely and effective victim-centered response and investigation.

Activity: What you do to fulfill your mission (e.g., service delivery).

Advocacy, advocate: Active support for a cause, person, or policy; to advocate is to speak or act on another’s behalf, to intercede; an advocate is one who engages in advocacy. Advocacy may be individual (for a person served) or social (directed at changing social systems, institutions, and broader functioning of society). The latter type of advocacy may also be called institutional advocacy or systems advocacy. [1]

Affirmative consent: “A knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” [2]

AI/AN: Individuals who identify as American Indian and Alaskan Native.

AI/AN communities: The terms “Native communities, “tribes,” “pueblos,” and “villages,” are sometimes used in this document to refer to AI/AN communities. There are more than 560 federally recognized AI/AN communities in the United States. Over half of these are Alaska Native villages. In addition, there are almost 245 non-federally recognized AI/AN communities; many of those are recognized by their states and are seeking federal recognition. [3] (Also see “sovereignty” below.)

Asian and Pacific Islander: All people of Asian, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander ancestry who trace their origins to the countries, states, jurisdictions, and/or the diasporic communities of these geographic regions. [4]

Authorization: An individual's signed permission to allow a covered entity to use or disclose the individual's protected health information (PHI) that is described in the authorization for the purpose(s) and to the recipient(s) stated in the authorization. [5]

Auxiliary aids and services: Aids and services that should be made available, where necessary, to individuals with disabilities to provide them an equal opportunity to participate in services and programs. These include, but are not limited to, qualified interpreters or interpretive devices (qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Braille materials and displays, screen reader software, large-print materials, etc.) and acquisition or modification of equipment or devices. [6]

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA): BIA is a federal agency within the Department of Interior.

Burnout: A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations. Symptoms may include depression, cynicism, boredom, loss of compassion, and discouragement. [7]

Case review: A process where SARTs examine cases to identify gaps and successes of the system’s response, as well as measure the effectiveness of interagency protocols.

Chairperson or spokesperson: Nearly all tribes have governing bodies called Tribal Councils, presided over by a chairperson, spokesperson, or president, whether or not there is a reservation. Among most tribes, the chairperson and governing body (Council) are elected by a vote of the people and often subject to term limits as specified in the tribal bylaws. [8]

Client: An individual who presents for and accepts victim services, either through their own initiation of service (e.g., visiting or calling the program), or through the victim assistance provider’s initiation of service (e.g., contacting the individual by phone, letter, or in person). A person served may be a client whether or not service is provided for a fee. [9]

Code: A collection of laws, rules, or regulations organized in a particular manner, usually by subject. [10]

Collaboration: Partnership between agencies and individuals committed to working together and contributing resources to obtain a common goal.

Community needs assessment: The process of gathering information about a community to identify existing needs and services. Assessments are performed prior to initiating change in a community. [11]

Compassion fatigue: A combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion associated with caring for others who are in significant emotional pain and physical distress. [12]

Competence, competency: Knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to perform tasks and responsibilities necessary to victim services. Competency herein is an educational term, not a legal term; demonstrating educational achievement of a competency does not guarantee legal competency to provide services.

Confidentiality: The act of protecting (i.e., not disclosing, revealing, or sharing without consent) private information relating to a person served, established through federal and state statutes and regulations, ethical principles, and program policies. Confidentiality is rarely absolute, and limitations should be fully disclosed to persons served. [13]

Consent: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. In the context of sexual activity, consent is an agreement to engage in sexual acts.

Counseling: Process involving a supportive relationship between a victim who is asking for help and a clinician trained to provide that help. Victim assistance providers are counselors only if they are degreed, licensed, or certified clinicians. [14]

Crime victim compensation: Government programs including formula grants, discretionary grants, and set-asides that make funds available to help crime victims recover from financial losses resulting from their victimization in states, territories, and tribes. These programs rely on the Crime Victims Fund to reimburse victims for crime-related out-of-pocket expenses, including medical and dental care, counseling, funeral and burial expenses, and lost wages and income. [15]

Criminal jurisdiction: Power of a court to hear and dispose of criminal cases.

Crisis intervention: Methods of communication and action designed to protect, stabilize, and mobilize individuals who are experiencing an event or a situation that they perceive is intolerable and which exceeds the person’s current coping mechanisms. [16]

Cross-training: Brief training in the core concepts of a discipline or specialization other than one’s primary specialization (e.g., a rape-crisis provider trained in concepts from prosecution or law enforcement). Cross-training is intended to broaden one’s base in victim service knowledge and help one adapt to multidisciplinary response teams. [17]

Cultural responsiveness: The concept that expanding one’s knowledge of culture and diversity is a lifelong learning process, a way of thinking, and a mindset grounded in genuine curiosity and equity. Other terms may include cultural competence, culturally relevant, culturally responsive, culturally appropriate, etc.

Disability: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has a three-part definition of disability. An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. ADA defines physical impairment as "any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine." [18]

Diversity: Recognition of the vast array of different groups, including those of different races, ethnicities, genders, and cultures, that may have varying behaviors, attitudes, values, beliefs, rituals, traditions, languages, or histories. [19]

Documentation: Written evidence of events to record information about victims of crime and provision of services. [20]

Effectiveness: A measure of the ability to produce a specific desired effect or result that can be qualitatively measured.

Elder: Various jurisdictions and agencies define the “elder” portion of life differently, but typically as commencing at 60 years of age.

Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel: Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and medical first responders who are responsible for providing early, pre-hospital treatment to those in need of urgent medical care and rapid transportation to an emergency department.

Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA): Act enacted in 1986 to prevent “patient dumping” — refusing to provide emergency medical treatment to patients who cannot pay for their care or transferring them to another facility before stabilizing their condition. [21]

Empathize: To imagine oneself in the subjective state of another; to attempt to feel what another person feels.

Empower, empowerment: To give authority or power; to help people by sharing information or resources so that they may help themselves. [22]

Ethnicity: Classification based on culture and country or region of origin, regardless of race. [23]

Etiology: The “etiology of sexual assault” refers to the origins or causes of this behavior.

Evaluation: The systematic assessment of the processes and outcomes of a program with the intent of furthering its development and improvement; a collaborative process in which evaluators work closely with program staff to craft and implement an evaluation design that is responsive to the needs of the program. Evaluation of program staff performance should also occur regularly, with clear expectations and objective feedback on performance provided to staff. [24]

Evidence-based programs and practices: A program, practice, or intervention whose effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence (generally obtained through one or more impact evaluations). Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention. Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. [25]

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Federal law enforcement agency that becomes involved in cases that occur in international waters, national parks, on American Indian reservations, and military installations.

Gender identity: A person’s concept of themselves as being male and masculine or female and feminine; refers to social and psychological components of masculinity and femininity, regardless of biological sex. A person may vary in degree of identifying and expressing masculinity, femininity, both, or neither. [26]

Goals: Future organizational and programmatic directions for your SART.

Harassment: A course of conduct that annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear for their own safety. [27]

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): Establishes national standards for the protection of individually identifiable health information created or held by health care providers, health insurance companies, and health clearinghouses. [28]

Hispanic: Anyone with Spanish-speaking origins, including Spain and excluding Brazil.

Historical trauma: The cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations, including the lifespan, which emanates from massive group trauma. [29]

Human trafficking: Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. [30]

Impact: Positive and negative long-term effects of your SART’s responses whether intended or unintended.

Incapacitation: The inability to make decisions for oneself, which can be due to disability, intoxication, etc. [31]

Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) (U.S.C. §1301-1303) of 1968: Act that limited a tribe’s ability to incarcerate an individual for any one crime beyond one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Indian Country: A legal term that federal and state governments sometimes use to refer to land within an Indian reservation and all such other dependent Indian territories, and all land acquired by Indians in which tribal and federal laws normally apply and state laws do not. [32]

Indian Health Service (IHS): The federal health program that provides health care services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. [33] 

Indicator: A quantitative or qualitative measurement that is used to demonstrate whether your SART’s goals and objectives have been achieved. Indicators help to answer key questions, such as where you are currently, where you want to go, and whether you are taking the right path to meet your goals.

Indirect victim or secondary victim: A person who is impacted by a crime but who is not the direct victim of the crime; this is often a friend, family member, or significant other of a direct victim, or a member of the victim’s workplace or community. [34]

Informed consent: Voluntary agreement to participate in an activity and allow an activity or procedure to be performed based on the availability of all pertinent information and the ability to understand the consequences of the agreement decision.

Inputs: Any resources dedicated to the SART. Examples are money, staff and staff time, volunteers and volunteer time, facilities, equipment, and supplies.

Institutional Review Board (IRB): A committee established to review and approve research involving human subjects. The purpose of the IRB is to ensure that all human subject research be conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines. [35]

Intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV): Any unwanted sexual contact or activity by an intimate partner forced on the other partner through fear, threats, violence, or other forms of control. [36]

Jurisdiction: A community that has power to govern or legislate for itself. For example, a jurisdiction may be a local area, state, territory, or tribe. Jurisdiction also describes the authority to interpret and apply laws; it is used in this context when identifying who has jurisdiction over a particular case. [37]

Labor trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. [38]

Language access plan: An organizational document that contains a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that ensure that limited-English-proficient individuals will have meaningful access to that agency’s programs, services, and products. [39]

Latin@/x: Used to describe individuals from Latin American origin, excluding Spain and including Brazil where Portuguese is spoken.

Lethality Assessment Program (LAP): Includes a risk assessment screen to be used by first responders to identify and connect individual’s highest risk to advocacy immediately.

LGBTQ: Initials that stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning, including all other individuals on the sexual orientation and gender identity spectrum.

Limited English proficiency (LEP): Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. Individuals with LEP may be competent in certain types of communication (e.g., speaking, understanding), but have LEP in other areas (e.g., reading, writing). Similarly, LEP designations are context-specific; an individual may possess sufficient English language skills to function in one setting, but these skills may be insufficient in other settings. [40]

Literacy: An individual's ability to read, write, and speak in a language, and to compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function in everyday life. [41]

Logic model: An illustration of how a program will work, using words and diagrams, to describe the sequence of activities thought to bring about change and how these activities are linked to the results the program is expected to achieve. The logic model serves as a foundation for program planning, performance measurement, and evaluation. [42]

Major Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1153) of 1885: Act that authorized the federal government to assume concurrent jurisdiction with tribes over major crimes committed by Native offenders such as rape and murder.

Mandated reporting: State and federal laws requiring individuals to report certain injuries or cases of abuse or neglect to an appropriate agency, such as child protective services, adult protective services, a law enforcement agency, or a dedicated toll-free hotline. Individuals who are mandated to report vary by jurisdiction, as do the particular kinds of injuries or neglect that must be reported and about whom reports must be made. The most common mandatory reporting laws address child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, gunshot wounds, and abuse of vulnerable adults (e.g., persons 18 years of age or older who are unable to report abuse and protect themselves from further harm). [43]

Medical forensic examination (MFE): An examination of a sexual assault patient by a health care provider, ideally one who has specialized education and clinical experience in the collection of forensic evidence and treatment of these patients. The examination includes gathering information from the patient for the medical forensic history; an examination; coordinating treatment of injuries, documentation of biological and physical findings, and collection of evidence from the patient; information, treatment, and referrals for STIs, pregnancy, suicidal ideation, alcohol and substance abuse, and other nonacute medical concerns; and follow-up as needed to provide additional healing, treatment, or collection of evidence. This exam is referred to as the “forensic medical examination” under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). [44]

Memorandum of understanding: A written agreement that formalizes the agreements between two or more agencies for cooperative relationships and outlines the operational agreements as organizations engage in mutually beneficial partnerships.

Monitoring: Tracks your performance against what was planned or expected according to your SART’s policies, protocols, and guidelines.

Multidisciplinary approach: Working with several disciplines to create a comprehensive approach to a problem. [45]

Multidisciplinary teams: Agencies partnering together to provide interagency, coordinated responses that make victims' needs a priority, hold offenders accountable, and promote public safety. [46]

National Congress of American Indians: NCAI is a nonprofit organization that advocates on policy issues and initiatives for their diverse membership, which consists of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal citizens, individuals, and Native and non-Native organizations.

Objectives: Clear, realistic, specific, measurable, and time-limited statements of action that can move you toward achieving your goals.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC): A federal agency that administers the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars. Federal revenues deposited into the Fund also come from gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties. OVC channels funding for victim compensation and assistance throughout the United States, raises awareness about victims’ issues, promotes compliance with victims’ rights laws, and provides training and technical assistance and publications and products to victim assistance professionals. OVC is part of the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. [47]

Office on Violence Against Women (OVW): A component of the U.S. Department of Justice, OVW provides federal leadership in developing the national capacity to reduce violence against women and administer justice for and strengthen services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. [48]

Outcome evaluation: A comprehensive examination of components and strategies intended to achieve a specific outcome. An outcome evaluation gauges the extent of success in achieving the outcome, assesses the underlying reasons for achievement or non-achievement, validates the contributions of SART agencies and allied professionals, and identifies key lessons learned and recommendations to improve performance.

Outcomes: Benefits for victims and the criminal justice system based on coordinated service delivery. For example, victims may be more willing to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their cases because their practical, emotional, psychological, social, and economic needs are prioritized.

Outputs: SART products and services. For example, the numbers of community referrals, medical forensic exams, and cases investigated and prosecuted. Outputs are important because they should lead to a desired benefit for participants or target populations.

Outreach: Efforts toward identifying a population with unmet needs and providing information or resources to persons who might otherwise not receive service. [49]

Patient confidentiality: An ethical principle that means that personal and medical information given to a health care provider will not be disclosed to others unless the individual has given permission for such release. Human services professionals also have responsibilities to respect clients’ right to privacy and confidentiality.

Patient-centered care: Care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions. [50]

Performance measurement: A system that analyzes, interprets, and reports on the achievement of outcomes.

PL280: Public Law 83-280 of 1953 mandated the transfer of federal responsibility for prosecution of serious crimes committed on tribal lands to state agencies in six states (California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Alaska). Other states were allowed to elect similar transfers of power.

PL638: Public Law 93-638, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 gave the authority to tribal governments to contract programs and services that are carried out by the federal government, such as services provided by the BIA or IHS. [51]

Policy: A written guideline that is a broad statement of program principles; a framework for developing procedures, rules, and regulations. [52]

Polyvictimization: The experience of multiple victimizations of different kinds, such as sexual assault, physical abuse, bullying, witnessing family violence, and exposure to community violence. Also known as complex trauma, polyvictimization has been linked to a wide range of physical, psychological, and emotional problems. [53]

Prevention: Theory for and practice of reducing victimization and its harmful effects through interventions based on a set of risk and protective factors. Primary prevention objectives are to protect individuals prior to victimization (i.e., stop the violence before it occurs). [54]

Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA): Act passed in 2003 to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” [55]

Privacy: Freedom from unauthorized intrusion; a victim’s right to control who has access to their own story and personal information. [56]

Privilege: Protected communications between certain professionals and victims as defined by statutes. Even if it is relevant to a case, a privileged communication cannot be used as evidence in court. The established privileged communications are those between spouses, clergy and communicant, psychotherapist and patient, physician and patient, and attorney and client. In some states, communications with domestic violence and sexual assault counselors are included. [57]

Process evaluation: Examines whether your SART is operating as intended. A process evaluation helps identify which changes are needed in design, strategies, and operations to improve performance.

Professional development: Wide range of activities designed to improve a variety of abilities, skills, and capabilities that may apply across victim service programs, including continuing education, formal and informal training, and leadership coaching. [58]

Program: Agency or division within an agency that performs a distinct and specified function. In victim services, many nonprofit victim service programs are independent agencies, while government-based victim service programs often exist within larger agencies (e.g., law enforcement, corrections). [59]

Program outcomes: The benefits of your services to victims, service providers, and the community.

Program services (also known as activities or outputs): The services the SART agency provides.

Prosecutor: A trial lawyer who investigates and tries criminal cases on behalf of the government. Prosecutors are often known as district attorneys, state attorneys, or United States attorneys, depending on the jurisdiction.

Protocol: A written document that provides standard procedures and role delineation for a particular process. Protocols are reviewed and updated periodically to reflect changes in policies and practices. [60]

Qualitative evaluation: Describes and interprets how well your SART is working, such as your SART’s relevance, quality of resources (including literacy materials), efficacy of policies and activities, and cost in relation to what has been achieved.

Quantitative evaluation: Documents how much your SART has accomplished, such as the numbers of individuals served and materials produced, amount of outreach to underserved populations, number of community referrals, number of cases prosecuted, and number of sexual assault reports or prosecutions.

Rape: The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” [61] Jurisdictions may have different definitions. 

Referral: An act, action, or instance of referring a victim to another program in the community for the purpose of matching a victim’s unmet needs with organizations that can provide services to meet those needs. [62]

Reproductive coercion: Behaviors that interfere with contraception use or pregnancy to maintain power and control in a relationship. [63]

Resilience: An adaptation that results in positive outcomes despite serious threats or adverse circumstances. Resilience is not unusual or special; it is the normal process of human development and adaptation that occurs in both children and adults. [64]

Restitution: The amount of money that a judge orders an offender to pay to the victim as part of the offender’s sentence. [65]

Restorative justice: An approach to achieving justice through voluntary and cooperative processes that include those who have a stake in a specific offense. These approaches create opportunities for empowerment of crime victims to identify their own needs and requirements for justice, and those who have harmed have an opportunity to act to repair the harm caused by their criminal behavior. [66]

Re-traumatization: Intense physical and psychological reactions that occur when a victim’s emotional wounds are re-opened or when they anxiously anticipate the re-opening of these wounds. This distress may occur when persons are exposed to additional traumatic events or when they find themselves in situations that trigger painful memories of past traumatic events. Re-traumatization may also occur when victims re-tell their stories. Victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches are implemented in an attempt to avoid re-traumatizing victims while delivering services. [67]

Safety plan: A personalized, practical plan that can help individuals anticipate dangerous situations and develop ways to keep themselves safe when they are in danger. [68]

SANE Sustainability Project: A project funded by the Office on Violence Against Women to provide programmatic technical assistance to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs struggling to maintain operation. The project continues to provide information about program development and operation.

Secondary traumatic stress: The behaviors and emotions that often result from knowing about a traumatizing event experienced by another and the stress resulting from helping, or wanting to help, a traumatized or suffering person. Its symptoms can mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder. [69]

Self-care: The intentional practice of stress reduction and resilience-strengthening techniques by staff who work in highly stressful situations or who are at risk for experiencing vicarious trauma. [70]

Sex trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such acts has not attained 18 years of age. [71]

Sexual assault: Any type of unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature by another person. This can occur through clothing, skin to skin, or by using an object, and it is without the person’s consent (either because they do not choose to give consent or because they are not able to consent due to age, incapacity, or other reasons). [72] State laws vary in the definitions they use for sexual assault. [73]

Sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE): Health care provider who received specialized training in conducting sexual assault medical forensic examinations including physical assessment, documentation, evidence collection, and clinical care. [74] A SAFE may be a physician’s assistant, nurse, doctor, or other medical professional. A SAFE may also be referred to as a Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE) or Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner (SAMFE).

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO): An office in several federal departments (including justice and defense) that focuses on preventing sexual assault, improving victim access to services, increasing the frequency and quality of information provided to victims, and expediting the handling and resolution of sexual assault cases.

Sexual assault response team (SART): Specially trained members of health care, law enforcement, prosecution, and advocacy that work together as a group to provide health care and advocacy services to victims of sexual assault, while investigating sexual assault cases for criminal prosecution. [75]

Sexual orientation: Describes the focus of a person’s romantic or sexual attractions, behaviors, and identity. Individuals may vary in their attractions to and sexual experiences with other people, as well as in the degree to which they identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual, or something else. Sexual orientation may change over time. [76]

Sexual violence: Sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not freely given. [77]

Sovereignty: The internationally recognized power of a nation to govern itself. [78]

Spiritual: Relating to spiritual belief systems; those that acknowledge and appreciate the influence in one’s life of a higher power or state of being. [79]

Staff: In this context, a person who performs administrative or direct service tasks for a victim service program; includes both paid and volunteer workers.

Strangulation: A type of asphyxia (lack of oxygen) caused by external pressure or blunt force to the neck, causing blood vessels and air passages to close.

Supervision: Oversight of staff, often through direct management.

Survivor: A person who has survived an ordeal or trauma; includes both direct and indirect victims of crime. The term emphasizes the strength and courage needed to survive a traumatic event.

Survivor-informed: A program, policy, intervention, or product that is designed, implemented, and evaluated with intentional leadership and input from victims and survivors to ensure that the program or product accurately represents the needs, interests, and perceptions of the target victim population. [80]

Systems change: An approach to social change that affects structural and institutional systems, asking the questions: what change is needed, why is it needed, and what might be the unintended consequences? Systems change, at its core, answers the question how change can be effected. [81]

Systems consulting: Process where SARTs react to an emerging systems issue that is impacting the process, typically identified when something goes wrong or a protocol is not being followed.

Traditionally underrepresented or underserved: Persons whose distinct experiences and needs have not been generally recognized or have not been well-served by organizations that respond to sexual violence. [82]

Training: Courses or instruction, whether in-person or online, designed to teach or strengthen knowledge or skills valuable to the victim services field. [83]

Transgender: When a person identifies as transgender, they identify with or express a gender identity that differs from the biological sex they were assigned at birth. [84]

Trauma: Serious injury to the body, as from physical violence or an accident; also, emotional or mental distress caused by an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening. The event may cause the individual to feel emotionally, cognitively, and physically overwhelmed and unable to cope. The adverse effects of a traumatic event may occur immediately or over time. Communities may collectively react to trauma in ways that are very similar to the ways in which individuals respond, and may experience the adverse effects of an event for generations. Many people who experience trauma readily overcome it, particularly with support; others may experience significant disruption in their lives and a long-term impact on their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. [85]

Trauma-informed care: Care that involves seeking to understand the connection between presenting symptoms and behaviors and the individual’s past trauma history. [86]

TTY: Teletypewriter or telecommunications device for individuals who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. [87]

U.S. Supreme Court decision Oliphant v. Suquamish (435 U.S. 191, 1978): A decision that limited the ability of tribes to criminally prosecute non-Indians. Tribes still retained various civil authorities over non-Indians.

Unconscious patient: A patient who, due to trauma, illness, or ingestion of drugs or alcohol, is not able to respond verbally or in a purposeful way physically. [88]

Vicarious trauma: A reaction to trauma exposure including a range of psychosocial symptoms that providers and responders may experience through their intervention with those who are experiencing or have experienced trauma. It can include disruptions in thinking and changes in beliefs about one's sense of self, one's safety in the world, and the goodness and trustworthiness of others; as well as shifts in spiritual beliefs. Individuals may also exhibit symptoms that can have detrimental effects, both professionally and personally. [89]

Victim: A person who experiences mental, physical, financial, social, emotional, or spiritual harm as the direct result of a specified crime committed on his or her person or property. Family members, significant others, community members, and others impacted indirectly by the crime are regarded as “secondary” victims. Victim assistance providers should consult state, tribal, and federal laws for statutory definitions. [90]

Victim advocate: A member of the multidisciplinary team whose only responsibility is to provide support to the sexual assault victim. [91]

Victim impact statement: Statements provided to the court at sentencing as an expression of a victim’s right to be heard. In these statements, a victim can describe the impact of the offender’s actions including financial, physical, psychological, or emotional damages; harm to relationships; need for medical treatments or mental health services; requests for restitution; and, in some cases, a victim’s opinions of appropriate sentences. [92]

Victim-centered response: The systematic focus on the needs and concerns of a victim to ensure the compassionate and sensitive delivery of services in a nonjudgmental manner. A victim-centered approach seeks to minimize re-traumatization associated with the criminal justice process by providing the support of victim advocates and service providers, empowering survivors as engaged participants in the process, and providing survivors an opportunity to play a role in seeing their offenders brought to justice. [93]

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): Federal act of 1984 that supports victim compensation and victim assistance programs across the nation in meeting the needs of crime victims. It also established the federal Crime Victims Fund. [94]

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): VAWA was signed into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. It was the first federal legislation to comprehensively address violence uniquely targeted at women and their children, and represents a key turning point in our nation’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. [95]

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA ’13): VAWA ’13 provision restores tribes’ sovereignty to prosecute select non-Indians for crimes of domestic violence. Sexual assault was not included in this statute, but violations of Orders of Protections (which can arise from crimes of sexual assault) can be prosecuted in tribal court against a non-Indian.

Wrap-around services: An intensive, individualized care-planning and management process. [96]

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Topic Sexual Assault Response Teams