Hidalgo County's new response team aims to help victims of sexual assault

7 months 1 week 1 day ago Friday, December 31 2021 Dec 31, 2021 December 31, 2021 9:40 AM December 31, 2021 in News

Hidalgo County has established an adult sexual assault response team.

The adult sexual response team, or SART, is a collaboration between agencies whose purpose is to provide relief or justice to survivors of sexual assault. It was created in line with new Texas legislation requiring every commissioner’s court to have their own SART team.

The team is made up of members from law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, and DHR hospital.

DHR Director of Behavioral Services Dr. Martin Hernandez says more often than not, adult sexual assault cases go unreported.

“Much of the sexual assaults that occur do not manifest or they’re not reported and the patient sometimes experiences the post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and sometimes completion of that suicide because of the mental trauma that the patient has sustained,” Dr. Hernandez said.

District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. says the goal of SART is to also better educate people about the resources available to victims of sexual assault, and he’s calling on the community for help.

“Our community also has the responsibility to take this information and do something with it,” Rodriguez said. “They can help us all in making sure that when they take this information, that they share it with their friends and family.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, report it to law enforcement first. After that, SART will connect you with other resources and guide you through the process.

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