What we do

For us, eliminating sexual violence is more than our mission, it is a passionate cause for the people who make our organization successful. We're committed to creating a society free from sexual violence and our programming is a reflection of that vision. Our technical assistance, training and other programs are designed to transform our communities and eliminate sexual violence in all of its forms. We appreciate you using our website to learn about our programs but don't ever hesitate to contact us directly if you need any additional information. We can always be reached by phone at 801-746-0404 or email at info@ucasa.org.

40 Hour Rape and Sexual Assault Advocacy Training

The Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with your organization to deliver a comprehensive Rape Crisis Advocacy training that gives crisis line advocates the information and tools they need to handle calls from victims of sexual assault effectively and sensitively.

More specifically, this course will offer the following benefits:

  • Give volunteers, staff, and advocates affiliated with your organization information and tools to understand the role of crisis line advocates
  • Debunk myths about sexual assault and support volunteer and advocates in recognizing and combating bias
  • Help crisis line volunteers and advocates maintain the dignity of victims
  • Support crisis line volunteers and advocates in encouraging victim’s self-advocacy and personal decision making throughout the disclosure and reporting processes
  • Situate each participant within their role as a volunteer, staff member, or allied agency of your organization and their responsibility to the agency, its clients, and to victims
  • Offer additional training for 40 hour certified participants to gain additional skills
  • Enable participants to make-up up to four missed hours of classroom training at their convenience
  • Enable UCASA to certify volunteers, staff, and community allies as sexual assault counselors (allowing for confidential communications) on a state-wide level.

UCASA shares a commitment to training excellence, and we are confident that this collaborative training solution will be a valuable enhancement to your current volunteer and staff-training program.

As a professional training and development organization, UCASA combines instructional expertise with curriculum development skills, adult learning theory, human factors knowledge, an understanding of group facilitation dynamics, and an extensive history of advocacy and direct service experience.

Basic Structure

The UCASA 40 Hour Crisis Advocacy Training follows a topic, design, and content structure. This training design is a result of feedback from all rape recovery/crisis programs throughout the state. The curriculum is twenty-four hours of statewide core topics presented by UCASA and sixteen hours of community specific topics facilitated by the local hosting agency.  This overall course design is meant to meet the needs of each area, population, and specific community dynamics.

We will work with your organization to determine the course content of the 16 hours of community-specific content and any continuing education or professional development topics.

Course Overview

The 40 Hour Rape Crisis Advocacy Training course is designed to meet the training needs of individuals who might respond to a victim of sexual violence. The course is meant to meet the needs of a variety of volunteers, staff, and allied professionals who consider themselves advocates—whether as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, volunteers, advocates, medical personnel, caseworkers, or educators. However, this course is not designed to provide the intricacies of investigation, prosecution, evidence collection, or case management. This course is particularly helpful to individuals who provide many different types of services to victims of sexual violence seeking skill-based knowledge and tools for improved response and intervention.

A side benefit of the course is its multidisciplinary appeal to professionals not working directly with sexual violence issues who also want a better understanding of sexual assault intervention concepts and policies. This course is designed and available to all public service, advocacy, and education organizations, along with information about why the course is helpful to them.

We look forward to working with your organization to implement this training and are pleased to offer a flexible training schedule to meet the needs of your organization. If you have specific questions about the 40 Hour Training please contact Julie Stephenson at julie@ucasa.org or 801-746-0404.

Sexual Assault Response Team Coordination Program

Rape and sexual assault are persistent threats to public health and safety in Utah, with one in three women experiencing some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, while only 1 in 10 survivors surveyed say they reported the assault to police. Even with such low reporting rates, Utah’s reported rape rate has consistently been higher than the national average over the past 20 years.

Survivors of sexual assault in Utah who disclose the crime to police report a wide variation in availability of victim services and in the quality of law enforcement response. Limited access to crisis services and long-term counseling, as well as a lack of sexual assault response training and victim-centered policies in the criminal justice system may result in additional trauma to victims and reduce the effectiveness of investigation and prosecution outcomes. In a 2007 study conducted by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, 45% of sexual assault victims who reported to police said they were satisfied with the police response, while 51% dissatisfied. Reasons listed for dissatisfaction with police included not treating them with respect, not believing them, or believing that the case involved consensual sex and therefore was not a crime.

While most victims surveyed who sought medical care reported that the doctor was aware that they had been sexually assaulted (73%), only 30% victims seeking care said that evidence was collected. Only one-third of the victims who reported to the police said that they had a victim advocate to assist them through the criminal justice process.

The purpose of our Sexual Assault Response Team Coordination Project is to maintain a statewide multi-disciplinary team of sexual assault experts to identify and disseminate evidence-based practices for responding to victims of sexual violence. The main goal of this team is to educate professionals to provide a trauma informed victim-centered response to victims of sexual assault in order to enhance victim services, medical care, investigation, and prosecution. Recent research indicates that when victims of sexual assault receive comprehensive victim-centered care, this not only supports healing from trauma, but also facilitates continued engagement of victims in the investigative and prosecutorial process, leading to an increased ability to hold perpetrators accountable.

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Coordination Program has the following goals and objectives:

Goal: Strengthen formal and informal local and statewide multidisciplinary efforts to provide victim centered response for victims of rape and sexual assault through law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, victim service agencies, medical providers, corrections, crime lab, and other state agencies and departments.

Objective: To help sexual assault service providers build, expand, formalize, and maintain strong interagency responses to sexual violence in communities where there is currently no coordinated multi-disciplinary response to rape and sexual assault.

Objective: Promote sustainability of existing SARTs by increasing team skills and capacity for consistent victim-centered response that is culturally relevant and responsive to the unique needs of they communities they serve.

Are you interested in starting a SART in your area or looking for more information about an existing SART?  You can contact UCASA at 801.746.0404 or info@ucasa.org.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Coordination Program

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of the patient who has experienced sexual assault or abuse. Sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs have become the standard of care for victims of sexual violence in many parts of the country. UCASA’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Statewide Coordinator is tasked with facilitating on-site skills training and regional professional development opportunities for SANEs throughout Utah. Our SANE Coordinator provides technical assistance and consultation via phone, e-mail, and site visits on patient care, evidence collection, SANE services development and sustainability, and HIV prophylaxis and treatment protocols for victims of rape and sexual assault. The SANE Coordinator also works collaboratively with allied professionals to develop and deliver training to law enforcement investigators and prosecutors on collecting, documenting, and presenting forensic evidence in sexual assault cases.

The primary goal for UCASA’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Training and Coordination Program is to increase the number of rural communities providing SANE care as part of a multidisciplinary, victim centered approach that meet the standards described in the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. The National Protocol is designed as a model for jurisdictions developing a response that is sensitive to victims of sexual assault and promotes offender accountability. The SANE Programs primary objectives are to increase the availability of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners able to provide medical care and evidence collection for victims of sexual assault in rural communities and to sustain the skills and resources of SANE programs in rural communities.

If you have specific questions about our SANE program, please contact Susan Chasson at SusanChasson@msn.com or 801-376-6962.

Sexual Assault Prevention Program

Utilizing technology, best practices, technical assistance and policy development assistance we promote a public health approach to the primary prevention of rape and sexual assault that works on the individual, community and societal levels to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors for sexual violence perpetration and victimization. We provide resources, technical assistance, and curriculum to prevention educators, youth serving organizations, parents, and teens working to promote healthy, respectful relationships among youth and their peers.

Based on results of statewide and community assessments, we engage institutions and organizations throughout the state to prevent sexual violence. We use our unique position to encourage agencies to facilitate the creation, implementation and/or continuation of prevention strategies throughout the state.

We are engaged in prevention on three levels:

Primary Prevention: is defined as decreasing the incidence of a problem. In other words, the goal of primary prevention programs Activities that take place before sexual violence has occurred to prevent initial perpetration or victimization.

Secondary Prevention: Immediate responses after the sexual violence has occurred to deal with the short-term consequences of violence.

Tertiary Prevention: Long-term responses after sexual violence have occurred to deal with the lasting consequences of violence and sex offender treatment interventions.When all three types (primary, secondary, and tertiary) are used together, they create a comprehensive response to sexual violence.

To assist with our prevention efforts, we assist partner agencies with the coordination and delivery of services. UCASA also operates a Lending Library which provides resources and support to rape crisis centers, victim advocates, government, non-profit agencies, military bases, universities and any individual seeking a society free of sexual violence. The library features a collection of books, films – both narrative and documentary, educational curriculum, reports, and magazines that focus on sexual assault advocacy, prevention and treatment. The UCASA library always welcomes donations of any materials that are relevant to the dialogue of sexual assault. 

To learn more about our programming or our Lending Library please contact us by phone at 801-746-0404 or by email at info@ucasa.org.

SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) Awards 

Each year we honor individuals, leaders, and organizations that are recognized as exceptional in advocating for victims of sexual violence. In the Spring of each year, we solicit and review nominations for the annual SAAM Awards. The purpose of the awards is to recognize individuals or organizations that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment and service to victims of sexual violence. This award may also acknowledge individuals or organizations that improved the accessibility or appropriateness of systems for victims of sexual violence. 

This award may also acknowledge individuals or organizations that improved the accessibility or appropriateness of systems for victims of sexual violence. We convene a diverse committee of sexual violence professionals, advocates, and survivors to judge and make recommendations for awards based on the overall contributions of nominees such as yourself to the needs of victims of sexual violence and the positive impact (both short-term and long-term). These awards honor the significant commitment of individuals and organizations to victims of sexual violence and the efforts they are undertaking to eliminate sexual violence. 



get updates