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Kern County's Sexual Assault Response Team celebrates anniversary

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - It's been one year since Kern County's Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, opened its doors at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

More than 200 people, including children, have gone through the center in just the last 365 days.

"We've served 265 victims in 12 months," said Dr. Margie Jensen with the Forensic Nurse Specialists of Central California. "I do believe 25 percent of those were pediatrics, our youngest being 6 months all the way up to 11 years."

The Forensic Nurse Specialists of Central California, law enforcement, the Kern County District Attorney's Office and San Joaquin Community Hospital all teamed up to create the safe space for all involved in the response to meet.

"In terms of the SART center here, they've actually processed approximately 43 offenders in the past year," said Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green. "The nurses themselves are specially trained, and they're available to testify as witnesses and they're excellent witnesses."

The center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"For us, it's just great to be a part of something that we don't want to happen, but has to have resources in the community to provide for these people," said Jimmy Phillips with San Joaquin Community Hospital.

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