Sexual assault and harassment occur on U.S. college campuses with alarming frequency. Underreporting of these crimes makes both statistics and replicable solutions elusive. The vast majority of the victims are 18-24 years old, are female or gender-nonconforming, and find little to no assistance in their recovery. Serial perpetrators are causing the bulk of the problem, and those who commit sexual violence often do it with impunity. The system is badly broken—assailants are almost never reported, and if they are, action is rarely taken.
Callisto dismantles barriers to reporting sexual assault through its online platform, providing survivors with information and new options to document and report their experience. At the same time, it gives institutions actionable data to guard against and respond to the problem, while preventing future abuse. Survivors are offered several ways to report assault and harassment: (1) they can securely save a time-stamped written record of what happened, preserving evidence while deciding what to do next, (2) they can report directly to authorities to start an investigation, or (3) they can save the record to report automatically if the same assailant is named by another survivor.
Callisto’s information escrow matching system aims to identify repeat perpetrators, prevents ongoing incidents, and helps stop sexual assault at its source. Callisto currently serves 13 campuses with a total of 149,000 students. Callisto is building a new system that could support any victim of sexual assault or professional sexual coercion and track any serial perpetrator. Victims of serial offenders will be safely connected to each other and legal support. Callisto brings tangible short-term results, and builds a foundation for a sustained cultural shift.