New York State Health Foundation

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Sexual Health Innovations

  • Project Title: Callisto: Supporting Campus Rape Survivors
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Grant Amount: $219,937
  • Date Awarded: September 28, 2016
  • Region: Statewide
  • Region: New York City
  • Website: https://www.sexualhealthinnovations.org
  • Grant Status: In Progress

Overview

Although sexual assault is a pervasive problem on college campuses, it is estimated that less than 10% of college assault survivors report the assault to administrators, local police, campus security, or other authorities. Those who do report assaults wait 11 months on average, during which time critical evidence may be lost or damaged; survivor memories and eyewitness accounts can become vague; and physical injuries heal. These current patterns in reporting make it challenging for schools to accurately assess the extent of the problem or identify and discipline perpetrators, especially repeat assailants who commit 90% of campus assaults. To address these issues, Sexual Health Innovations (SHI) created Callisto, a Web-based, survivor-centered college sexual assault reporting system. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded SHI a grant to pilot Callisto in three colleges in New York State.

Under this grant, SHI will partner with Canisius College (Buffalo), the State University of New York’s Binghamton University (Binghamton), and Cornell University (Ithaca) to develop customized reporting systems and support implementation for Callisto. Using the Callisto system, the universities will be able to offer a more empowering reporting experience for survivors; provide authorities with better evidence and data on sexual assault; facilitate the identification of repeat assailants; and provide survivors with a confidential and secure way to create a time-stamped record of an assault. Specifically, SHI will provide administrators at the partnering colleges with Web-based trainings and digital training guides on how to use Callisto; provide promotional materials for the colleges to disseminate to their students and raise awareness of the system’s availability; and train student leaders who are most likely to be viewed as resources by their peers on Callisto. Throughout the course of the project, SHI will support administrators with any challenges that arise and conduct virtual and/or in-person site visits with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to obtain feedback on Callisto.