How One Girl Is Changing The Lives Of Sexual Assault Survivors



“One in five women and one in thirteen men will be sexually assaulted during their college career in the United States. Less than 10 per cent will ever report their assault to their school or to the police. And those who do, on average, wait 11 months to make the report.”

Jessica Ladd shared these shocking statistics during her TED talk earlier this year. Jessica was discouraged by the process of finally reporting her experience. A victim of college sexual assault herself, she wished there was a better system in place for victims.

Recently Brock Turner was released after only three months of his six-month sentence (yes you read that right – only six months). He assaulted an unconscious student and was even caught by witnesses. It’s no surprise that many victims of assault are unwilling to come forward.


A Possible Solution

So Jessica decided to found an organization called Sexual Health Innovations. Their initiative Callisto built a system for victims that allowed them to report their assault in a safe way. In response to discussions they had with college survivors, they created a website “they could use at the time and place that felt safest to them, with clearly written information about their reporting options, with the ability to electronically report their assault”.

But the most interesting feature of Callisto is that it gives survivors the option to find out if their assailant was a repeat offender. Jessica argues that “knowing you aren’t the only one changes everything”. Victims can feel part of a support network where people have shared the same experience – sometimes even by the same hands. But it means repeat offenders can be easily and targeted.


“We don’t have to live in a world where 99 per cent of rapists get away with it. We can create one where those who do wrong are held accountable, where survivors get the support and justice they deserve, where the authorities get the information they need, and where there’s a real deterrent to violating the rights of another human being.”

What do you think about Callisto? Do you think it’s a viable solution for helping victims of sexual assault? What features do you think are important?

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Larissa Scotting

English Literature graduate from King's College London turned freelance writer. Lover of books, tea, Dickens, Otis Redding, and her cockapoo puppy Roly!

  • Ailyn Koay

    I believe that repeat offenders should be dealt with more severely, if they cannot change their behavior, why does society/ community have to live with a predator who will continue to attack? Reporting electronically is good, but it is just one part of the solution.

    • Michelle Freeman


  • Augustin Ra

    I wrote something related about rape for our school’s newspaper and it got published. I also published it on my blog. You might want to check it out. It’s entitled ‘Rape Culture, Is It Real?‘

    Augustin Ra • Indie Spirit
    Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

    • Jen

      Just took a read, awesome article!!

      • Augustin Ra

        Thanks, Jen! I hope you’re having a nice day. :)

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