Callisto: Tech to Combat Sexual Assault on U.S. College Campuses

Callisto is a non-profit organization that creates technology to combat sexual assault, empower survivors, and advance justice.

The Problem

Sexual assault is a pervasive problem on American college campuses. An estimated 20% of women, 7% of men, and 24% of trans and gender nonconforming students are sexually assaulted during their college career. Survivors commonly face numerous barriers to reporting, which lead to limited support and healing. The vast majority (85%) of college sexual assault survivors know their assailant, but less than 10% report to administrators, police or other authorities. When you consider the realities facing survivors — which include trauma, limited options, or fear of retaliation, there are many reasons why survivors don’t report and why they often delay. College students often fear they won’t be believed, that their friends or parents will find out, or that they’ll experience negative social repercussions. Those who do report wait an average of 11 months. As a result, many survivors have limited access to the justice and healing that they need. There is currently little to no deterrent for committing sexual assault. An estimated 90% of sexual assaults are committed by repeat perpetrators. Callisto is the only reporting system of its kind, designed to detect repeat offenders. This allows institutions to prevent further sexual assaults and create mechanisms for accountability. When survivors do report, the most common motivation is to protect their community. This means that many survivors would report if they knew their assailant was a repeat perpetrator. Callisto allows survivors who won’t come forward alone to come forward together.

The Solution

Callisto's online, trauma-informed reporting system offers survivors of sexual assault three options: to create a secure and private record of sexual assault, to report electronically to schools, or to only notify schools about their perpetrator if another student names the same perpetrator. Callisto has increased reporting on campuses and helped improve emotional and adjudicative outcomes for survivors. Callisto's research found that survivors most often report in order to protect their community. By empowering survivors with options to make the decisions best for them, we facilitate actions that can spur systemic change. Increased reporting enables universities to stop perpetrators sooner and create a deterrent for other would-be perpetrators. Callisto's system also provides universities with the data they need to implement the most effective policies to respond to — and prevent — sexual assault. Altogether, these efforts help survivors receive the support they need and prevent assaults from happening altogether.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Callisto

This project was nominated by:

Join The Discussion

Comments