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Since We Last Spoke: A Tool to Tackle Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Updates to stories from the Pacific Standard archive.
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Last year, the University of Denver became the latest school to partner with Callisto, an online platform that helps college students report sexual assault. In total, 13 schools have adopted the reporting system.

In 2015, Pacific Standard profiled the platform's creator, Jessica Ladd. After experiencing an assault and a traumatic reporting process as a student at Pomona College, Ladd decided to create the tool she wished had been available to her: one that counsels survivors on their options, and lets them know if anyone else has lodged a complaint against the same offender. It's not just about combating the underreporting of assaults; Callisto's data on re-offenders could help researchers understand perpetrators better, and find a way to prevent assaults. "It's only once you start having people naming names that you can start to build a network, and understand a network," Ladd said.

Ladd called the tool "a very safe, supportive space where you do feel believed, you do feel reinforced, you do feel like you have agency over what happens next."

Apparently universities agree with that sentiment.

A version of this story originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Pacific Standard. Subscribe now and get eight issues/year or purchase a single copy of the magazine.