Coordinated Team Approach

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Recommendations at a glance for jurisdictions to facilitate a coordinated team approach:  

  1. Understand the dual purposes of the exam.
  2. Identify key responders and their roles.
  3. Develop quality assurance measures to ensure effective coordinated response.

Communities should ensure that victims, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, have access to medical, legal, and advocacy services. Use of a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach in conducting the medical forensic examination can afford victims access to comprehensive immediate care, help minimize trauma they may be experiencing, and encourage the use of community resources. Such a response can also enhance public safety by facilitating investigation and prosecution, thereby increasing the likelihood that offenders will be held accountable for their behavior and further sexual assaults will be prevented. Raising public awareness about the existence and benefits of a coordinated response to sexual assault may lead more victims to disclose the assault and seek the help they need.[1]
[1] This paragraph is drawn partially from American College of Emergency Physicians’ Evaluation and Management of the Sexually Assaulted or Sexually Abused Patient, 1999, p. 7.

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This project was supported by Grant No.2011-TA-AX-K021 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this Web Site are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.