Third Party Reporting System Created to Increase Sexual Assault Reporting on College Campuses

Callisto, a third party system that is used for reporting sexual assaults, was recently designed by the nonprofit company Sexual Health Innovations. This online reporting system was designed for colleges and universities with the help and input of both rape survivors and students that are leading the fight against sexual assaults on campus.

Callisto will enable victims of sexual assault to record their experiences into an online database. The company description states that the reporter will “receive a clear explanation of their reporting options, and then either directly submit the report to their chosen authority or save it as a time stamped record.”

The fundraising site, Crowdwise was used by Sexual Health Innovations to set up a page in an attempt to gain funding to get Callisto up and running. The original goal was set at $10,000 and as of this morning they have raised well over the goal, with $17, 041 in donations already contributed. It is possibly that additional funds will need to be raised in order to staff Callisto properly and to ensure that it functions as efficiently as intended, but right now the focus is getting started and quickly.

One of the really innovative and important features within the Callisto system is that it enable victims to report their attackers immediately if there are already existing reports in the system from other survivors. The first reporting victim will also receive a notification if a second report is made against their assailant.

Victim information is safe and secure with the utmost privacy upheld for the sake of the victims and there is no way that anyone can search the database for victims or attackers. Jessica Ladd, founder and executive director of Sexual Health Innovations, said that this was a priority for the company out of respect for survivor and is also an effort to prevent false reporting.

Ladd says, “We want to be clear: This is by survivors, for survivors, and us understanding and having empathy for the trauma that survivors go through after a sexual assault and just how scary the reporting process is.”

There have been many studies conducted over recent years about sexual assaults on campus and the numbers reported are shocking. It is projected that somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of women in college are victims of sexual assaults during their time in college, but few actually report the crime. A study that was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that less than 5 percent of rape and rape attempts are reported with the numbers expected to drop.

Ladd’s final words on Callisto are directed towards victims. She says, “We want to make sure it is very clear to survivors they control who it’s reported to and when.”

Callisto will allow sexual assault victims to take back some of the power and control that was taken from them, which is something invaluable to a survivor.

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