Callisto would have helped me. So I’m donating.
I’m giving $1000 to Sexual Health Innovations (SHI). My donation will be quadrupled because of a donor who is generously matching donations through May 31. I’m on SHI’s technical advisory board and have enjoyed working with Kelsey Gilmore-Innis, their CTO.
SHI is the non-profit that created Callisto, a third-party sexual assault reporting system. It’s designed to provide a more empowering, transparent, and confidential reporting experience for college sexual assault survivors.
I personally would have benefited from a system like Callisto. While attending the University of Oregon, I was sexually assaulted in a dorm room after falling asleep with a group of friends who were watching a movie. When the movie ended, I was asleep and all my friends left. I woke up to a person groping me. He’d laid on top of me and started to take his pants off. Barely woke up and terrified, I pushed him off of me and fled out the door.
This guy was a part of my friend group. I didn’t know what to do next, or who to tell. I avoided him as much as I could.
If back then, I’d had the ability to securely store a report about what happened to me, with the option to automatically report to the authorities if someone else reported the same assailant, I would have done it. At the time, I didn’t go to the police or the University with a complaint. I wrote privately about feeling angry and violated, but that was it. I felt alone.
Callisto could have a tremendous community impact at universities. Enabling women to report assault when more than one person names the same assailant is a terribly useful innovation. People argue that women should report rapes for “the sake of the community.” However, women aren’t treated very well when they report them. Callisto gives women a chance to report sexual assault, and enter into administrative and legal process knowing that they’re not alone.
I believe in SHI’s mission — creating technology that advances sexual health and well-being in the United States. In particular, their approach strives to solve sexual health problems on a systems level. They’re trying to both directly serve the needs of a target audience, and also impact wider communities.
I encourage you all to donate to SHI before May 31, and have up to $999 tripled, and up to $2500 quadrupled by a generous donor. Your support is greatly appreciated!