Callisto is a third-party sexual assault reporting system designed to provide a more empowering, transparent, and confidential reporting experience for college sexual assault survivors, to give schools better data about campus assault, and to facilitate the identification of repeat assailants. The initiative was first announced at the White House Data Jam on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault. Callisto launched in August 2015 at University of San Francisco and Pomona College, our Founding Institutions. Sexual Health Innovations is currently working to bring Callisto to more schools around the country.
Sexual assault is a pervasive problem on college campuses in the United States—an estimated one in five women are sexually assaulted during their college career, and many men are as well. Only 13% of college forcible rape survivors report their rape to local police, campus security, or other authorities, and only 2% of incapacitated sexual assault survivors report. It is estimated that 90% of these assaults are committed by repeat assailants and that if these assailants were stopped after their second assault, 60% of rapes would be prevented.
Callisto allows sexual assault survivors to complete an incident report online, 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. Survivors saving a record can log back in at any time to officially report their assault or can choose to have their report automatically submitted to the authorities if someone else reports the same assailant.
Schools implementing Callisto will learn the aggregate number of records stored in their system, the aggregate number of unique sexual assault survivors and assailants, the percentage of those records that have been officially reported, and trends in assault and reporting over time. If a student decides to officially report his or her assault to school administrators, school administrators will be securely sent the data that the student has elected to share with them.
Technically, Callisto is an “information escrow”—a third party system that stores information on someone’s behalf and only releases it on pre-agreed-upon conditions. Callisto will first be implemented in colleges and could later be applied to workplace sexual harassment or sexual assault in the military.