Bayfield County Selected as one of Five Pilot Counties to Partner on new Sexual Assault Response Training

Sexual Assault Response Team

Regional SART Team includes: Kim Lawton, Bayfield County District Attorney; John Fangman, Bayfield Police Chief; Amy O’Donahue, Ashland/Bayfield County Specialized Enforcement; Christa Grande, New Day Shelter Advocate; Andi Manzer, MMC SANE; Val Westlund, New Day Shelter Sexual Assault Intervention Coordinator; Susan Moore, Red Cliff Family Violence Prevention Advocate. Not pictured: Bayfield County Sheriff Susienka, Bayfield County Sheriff Dept. Investigator McKillip and Investigator Paulsen.

In May, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice has selected five counties to serve as pilot sites to strengthen multidisciplinary responses to sexual assault through sexual assault response teams. Currently, the sexual assault response team includes: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), Law Enforcement, the district attorney and advocacy groups such as New Day Shelter.

The five counties selected include: Bayfield, Dane La Crosse, Sheboygan and St. Croix. Memorial Medical Center registered nurse Andi Manzer is the region’s only Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and says she’s excited about this opportunity. “It is my hope that with additional training and resources, more nurses will become SANE certified and expand our program to better serve the community.”

These pilot sites will receive:

  • extensive cross training focused on numerous topics including law enforcement response to sexual assaults, advocacy response, role of the sexual assault nurse examiner, responsibility of the prosecutor, etc.;
  • assistance in developing, reviewing, revising, and implementing memorandums of understanding, as well as the policies, procedures, and protocols of the SART;
  • guidance through creation of a continual sexual assault case review process that results in actionable recommendations focusing on training and policy development;
  • guidance through an innovative, evidence-based public health approach to sexual assault.

At the end of this process, pilot sites will be asked to assist in developing best practice tools and training modules for the rest of the state. This will include updating the statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Protocol as well as the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Prosecutor’s Manual.