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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project
Publication Date:  June 2008
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Office of Justice Programs Seal   Office for Victims of Crime, Putting Victims First

Inviting Stakeholder Participation

Elements of a Successful Meeting

To plan for the meeting, FRIS sought input and assistance from the directors of the three rape crisis centers in the region: Women’s Aid in Crisis (WAIC), HOPE, Inc., and the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center.12 This alliance was a logical one, given that FRIS had strong ties to these centers in its role as the state sexual assault coalition. The centers also coordinated the SARTs in their service areas, allowing FRIS access to SART members. The centers’ help was invaluable in compiling a list of organizations and persons to invite and in recruiting these stakeholders. FRIS mailed out invitation letters and the centers followed up with calls to all those invited.

Attendees represented disciplines and entities that were involved in the local immediate response to sexual assault: hospital administrators and clinicians (e.g., a clinical nursing supervisor or head nurse of a hospital emergency department), SANEs, rape crisis centers, law enforcement, prosecution, prosecution office-based victim advocacy, social services, emergency medical services, and local colleges. An effort was made to invite agency decisionmakers as well as staff involved in immediate response.

FRIS planned the meeting with participants’ comfort in mind. The coalition found a central location for the meeting and provided lunch. A stipend of $100 was offered for each participant to attend, although only two requested it.

FRIS found a meeting facilitator who was not affiliated with any of the organizations invited. Using this neutral facilitator helped promote open dialogue among stakeholders, particularly among hospital administrators who were more used to working competitively than collaboratively.