Mar 21, 2018

Sexual assault reporting system coming to Silicon Valley

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Callisto, a non-profit that provides sexual assault reporting software to college campuses, is expanding to Silicon Valley this summer, it announced on stage during Y Combinator's Demo Day on Tuesday.

Why it matters: After last year's wave of reported sexual harassment and assault accounts, it's not a surprise the organization is tackling the tech industry. Callisto's system hinges on a powerful concept: information escrow. In the case of Callisto, this means that an incident report triggers the involvement of a counselor only if or when at least one other victim reports the same perpetrator.

How it'll work: In the Silicon Valley version, victims will submit a timestamped report of the incident confidentially. Once there's a match of victims with the same perpetrator, a Callisto counselor will review the cases and discuss with the victims their options, which can vary from reporting to law enforcement to going to the press.

  • At least at first, Callisto's counselors will be attorneys, an approach that will allow the victims' information and discussions to be covered by attorney-client privilege in the event of legal action.

Initial support: So far, Callisto has received donations from a handful of VC firms, including Greylock Partners, First Round, Data Collective, Obvious Ventures, and Uncork Capital.

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