Callisto takes its innovative approach to combat sexual assault to professional industries

News from the field
Callisto takes its innovative approach to combat sexual assault to professional industries

“When I reported the incident to campus security, suddenly I was being questioned and doubted and asked for proof, and that process was more traumatic than the assault itself.” Jessica Ladd, founder of Callisto.

Created in 2015, Callisto is a website for victims of sexual assault that identifies any repeat sexual predator in the United States. Users who experience sexual assault can choose to report the incident electronically, hold a private record of their incident for later reporting, or enter into the matching system to be reported to authorities if another survivor names the same assailant thanks to a unique recognition system.

In the United States, one in five women is sexually assaulted on college campuses and less than 10% of victims report it. However, repeat perpetrators commit an estimated 90% of sexual assaults. According to Jessica Ladd, the founder of Callisto and recipient of the Kering Foundation Awards in 2018, 59% of sexual assault cases could be prevented just by identifying repeat offenders.

Currently available on 13 college campuses, Callisto has expanded into the professional world with Callisto Expansion. While 71% of workplace harassment cases go unreported [1], Callisto Expansion allows people who have been victims of sexual assault in the workplace to securely and anonymously report and record it. If more than one survivor names the same perpetrator, they will each be connected to a Callisto Legal Options Counselor—an attorney who, under attorney-client privilege, will help them understand their options for taking action to protect their community. These Legal Options Counselors will also help victims of the same perpetrator share information with one another and coordinate their actions. The objective is to empower survivors beyond college campuses and keep communities safe.

Callisto has also developed a guide for victims The Callisto Survivor’s Guide, with a section dedicated to the business world. Written by survivors, The Survivor’s Guide is for individuals of all genders who have experienced sexual assault, rape or professional sexual coercion. The guide helps survivors navigate resources and also provides information on practicing self-care, getting emotional help, disclosing to others, reporting the incident, and more.