(Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations, Services, Training, Advocacy, and Resources)

SAFESTAR is a unique model of care that draws upon the strength and resilience of Indigenous women to improve safety and justice outcomes for victims of sexual violence and to provide long-term, compassionate, culturally meaningful, holistic care.

SAFESTAR is designed for those American Indian/Alaska Native communities currently without the capacity to support universal access to SANE services, the SAFESTAR project provides intensive training and technical support to specially selected laypersons and traditional healthcare providers to:

  • Deliver emergency First Aid to sexual assault survivors
  • Provide referrals for follow-up medical and other care
  • Educate communities on the harm caused by sexual violence and lead the way back to healthy, respectful ways of living
  • Collect sexual assault forensic evidence to promote increased accountability for perpetrators

SAFESTARs complete a United States Department of Justice (Office on Violence Against Women) approved 40-hour, intensive training course delivered by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), lawyers, Native community health experts, advocates, traditional healers, and experts on tribal governance and community organizing.

The 40-hour course covers emergency First Aid (utilizing the American Heart Association's curriculum); anatomy;  an overview of the prevalence, dynamics and responses to the epidemic of sexual violence in American Indian/Alaska Native communities;  forensic evidence collection; health care referrals; confidentiality; federal and tribal sexual assault laws; service referrals; and community outreach.

The curriculum incorporates many of the same components of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification course, but is designed for qualified laypersons in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The SAFESTAR course is delivered on-site and is free of charge to American Indian/ Alaska Native communities that have successfully completed an application process through the Southwest Center for Law and Policy and the Office on Violence Against Women.

For more information, please contact:

Arlene O’Brien

The Southwest Center For Law And Policy is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization providing legal training and technical assistance to tribal communities and to organizations and agencies serving Native people.

We are the host of the National Tribal Trial College providing free legal training for Attorneys, Judges, Law Enforcement, Advocates and Community Members on:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Stalking
  • Dating/Relationship Violence
  • Firearms Violence
  • Abuse Of Elders
  • Abuse Of Persons With Disabilities
  • Victims' Rights
  • Sex Offender Registration and Notification
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Tribal Court Trial Skills

List of OVW Approved Training Modules


SWCLAP works with the Office on Violence Against Women to develop and deliver trainings throughout the country. 


SWCLAP is the Parent Organization of the:


Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations, Services, Training, Access and Resources - SAFESTAR



National Tribal Trial College


The National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault - NICCSA





Southwest Center For Law And Policy
4015 E. Paradise Falls Dr.  Suite 131   Tucson, Arizona 85712
Tel: (520) 623-8192 | Fax: (520) 623-8246

This project is supported by grant numbers 2008-TA-AX-K013 and 2007-TA-AX-K001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice. Points of view expressed on this website are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice. Materials contained on this site as well as links to other sites should not be construed as legal information, legal advice, legal representation, or any form of endorsement or recommendation. All materials within these web pages are copyrighted. (c) Southwest Center For Law And Policy and Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice. All rights reserved.