How it works
Save time-stamped records of an assault
Survivors wait an average of 11 months to report their assault to authorities
Report electronically to the Title IX Coordinator
Less than 10% of survivors will ever report their assault
Report only if another student names the same perpetrator
Up to 90% of assaults are committed by repeat perpetrators
I was raped during the first week of my freshman year, and I can't even count the number of people I know who have been sexually assaulted during their college career. I wish there would've been more education about sexual assault in general as well as reporting options and support services. –Anonymous survivor
Callisto is a project of the 501(c)3 non-profit Sexual Health Innovations. Sexual Health Innovations is dedicated to creating technology that advances sexual health and wellbeing in the United States.
The non-profit has successfully created multiple websites dealing with sensitive issues in sexual health and wellbeing, such as the STD partner notification website So They Can Know.
The initiative was first presented at the White House Data Jam on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault. Callisto launched on August 2015 at University of San Francisco and Pomona College, our Founding Institutions.
We are working to bring Callisto to every school in the country, and the code will be open-sourced to encourage further innovation in the space.
Higher Education Advisory Board
- Ian Ayres, Yale Law School
- Katy Holland, University of Michigan
- Jim Hopper, Independent Consultant, Harvard Medical School
- Peter Novak, University of San Francisco
- Sharyn Potter, Prevention Innovations at University of New Hampshire
- Veronica Rabelo, University of Michigan
- Jane Stapleton, Prevention Innovations at University of New Hampshire
Technology Advisory Board
- Don Bailey, Lab Mouse Security
- Sina Bahram, Prime Access Consulting, Inc
- Selena Deckelmann, Mozilla
- Sophie Haskins, Yelp, Inc
- Lacey Williams Henschel, The University of Texas at Austin
- Leigh Honeywell, Ada Initiative
- Justin Kosslyn, Google Ideas
- Mina Markham, IBM
- Don Neufeld, Chartboost
- Chris Valasek, IOActive, Inc
- Molly Clare Wilson, Stanford d.school, Hasso-Plattner-Institut School of Design Thinking, Sliced Bread Design
Community Advisory Board
- Dana Bolger, Know Your IX
- Alexandra Brodsky, Know Your IX
- Annie Clark, End Rape On Campus (EROC)
- Lonna Davis, Futures Without Violence
- Caroline Heldman, Faculty Against Rape
- Emily May, Hollaback
- Laura Palumbo, National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
- Ali Safran, Surviving in Numbers
So many of the ideas you discussed [when describing Callisto] would have made my experience easier to deal with. The problems with reporting were too many for me (especially since it was an acquaintance). Social pressure, shame, fear, confusion on what legal action would mean or if I would succeed--all of those things stopped me and I still wonder what I actions I could or 'should' have taken. - Female survivor, 25
- One in 5 women and one in 13 men will be sexually assaulted during their college career in the United States.
- Less than 10% will ever report their assault to their school or to the police.
- On average, those who do report wait 11 months.
- 90% of sexual assaults are committed by repeat offenders.
- Only 6% of sexual assaults reported to police end with the assailant spending a single day in prison, meaning that there's a 99% chance that they'll get away with it. This means there is practically no deterrent to sexual assault in the US.
- We could prevent 59% of assaults from ever occurring - just by halting repeat offenders earlier on.
- Association of American Universities, Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. December, 2015.
- The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation, Survey of Current and Recent College Students on Sexual Assault. June, 2015.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics, Campus Climate Survey Validation Study. January, 2016.
- Krebs, C., Lindquist, C.H., Warner, T.D., Fisher, B.S., and Martin, S, The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study. December, 2007.
- United Educators, Confronting Campus Sexual Assault: An Examination of Higher Education Claims. 2015.
- Lisak, D., & Miller, P.M. Repeat rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists. Violence and Victims, 17(1), 73-84. 2002.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports. 2013.
For Survivors, by Survivors
The foundation of Callisto draws from research conducted with 100+ college sexual assault survivors. Stakeholders are engaged throughout project ideation, design, and development.
Ethical and Responsible Fulfillment of Unmet Needs
Do no harm, collaborate with others, create lasting solutions not long-term profits. Rigorously evaluate barriers and successes to truly solve problems.
Inclusivity and Diversity
We recognize that every individual's experience of sexual violence is unique and all experiences are valid. We aim to engage as diverse a group as possible to ensure Callisto offers an inclusive and welcoming experience for all.
Holistically Approaching Sexual Health Problems
Callisto doesn't just have a positive influence on the end user - it impacts entire campus communities and has the potential to be truly disruptive of the sexual assault epidemic.
A number of my friends experienced sexual assault when they were in school. Reporting it to the appropriate authorities was tremendously challenging and they almost always waited too long due to a number of fears. A tool like this could provide tremendous benefit to people like them. - Male, 29
Callisto partners with colleges and universities to provide a campus-specific platform for student survivors to make detailed, high-quality reports and connect to existing on- and off-campus resources.
Callisto aims to enable institutions by:
Callisto is designed to increase reporting by lowering the initial barrier to filing a complaint. A higher reporting rate will help schools get a better sense of the problem on their campus, which can inform prevention and response efforts.
Improving the detail and accuracy of reports
Because the decision to report is difficult and complicated for many survivors, delayed reporting of sexual assault is common. Callisto gives students the ability to record what happened promptly, in a low-pressure environment: research on post-trauma interviewing indicates that an early interview increases immediate recall, consistency of accounts, and recall of new information in subsequent sessions. In addition, the first recollection of a traumatic memory has been empirically shown to be less susceptible to post-event information biases. In this way, a time-stamped record of information saved in Callisto is more likely to be accurate and detailed than an intake interview. This helps schools take action against responsible individuals by supporting the investigation and adjudication of complaints.
Strengthening student trust of the institution
Campus climate surveys have shown that many students do not have strong trust in their institutions and the way they respond to sexual assault. By enlisting a third-party website, schools demonstrate a survivor-centered response and a commitment to taking the issue of sexual assault on college campuses seriously.
Protecting confidentiality and data security
Callisto protects students' sensitive data by employing end-to-end encryption, default HTTPS, stringent password requirements, short session expiry times, and conducting periodic security audits with a leading global information assurance firm. Records in Callisto are stored 'Zero Knowledge' with a user created and managed Passphrase. Additionally, Callisto is FERPA and Section 508 compliant.
In 2015-2016 Callisto was made available at the University of San Francisco and Pomona College. If you are interested in bringing Callisto to your institution, contact us to schedule a call - we'd love to discuss how Callisto can support your campus!
Say we have 100 survivors on campus, there’s probably 80 different preferences for how they report their assault. Prior to Callisto, we had one option for all of themand that was to come and talk to an administrator. - Campus administrator
Your contribution to Callisto will help us to create systemic change in the ways that survivors are supported and create a world where sexual assault is rare and unacceptable.
Callisto was made possible thanks to philanthropic contributions from Google.org, NoVo Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, and New York Women's Foundation. More than 600 individuals have contributed to Callisto. Callisto is a project of the 501c3 nonprofit organization Sexual Health Innovations.