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New program started in Tehama Co. to help sexual assault survivors

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TEHAMA COUNTY, Calif. - Tehama SART, a program started by volunteers from Alternatives to Violence, is giving aid to people who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse. 

SART, which stands for Sexual Assault Response Team, is a group created in 2015 that consists of volunteers that respond to sexual violence incidents in their community and also has medical providers who have all been trained to deal with sexual violence situations. 

Alternatives to Violence Legal Program Manager, Carolyn Walker, works as the Tehama SART Program Manager and she said they currently have ten medical providers that are ready to go and respond to calls. 

"They're all volunteers and they all volunteered to go to the training. They volunteer on-call, they go to hospitals, and they do exams," said Walker. 

Walker said the goal of the program is to advocate for those who do not have a voice but it's also to help the community.

"The ultimate goal is to make our community safer, that's our ultimate goal. And many things to come from that, but first and foremost, we want to make our community safe and how do we get there? How we get there is the first piece, believing victims of crime," said Walker. 

Alternatives to Violence Advocate and Tehama SART Administrator, Brookelyn Stafft, said they want to make sure all survivors know they're not alone and have support. 

"Anyone that's been victimized, anybody that's been abused, sexually, physically, or emotionally, we are a domestic violence agency as well [for] all walks of life and types of abuse. We will believe you, we are here to support you, we are here to help you, and you don't have to walk through this process by yourself." said Stafft. 

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