Groundbreaking Approach to Reporting Assault

Photo by Steve Rhodes.

Photo by Steve Rhodes.

USF will be the first university in the country to implement a new online system for reporting college sexual assaults when it launches in August.

The website, called Callisto, will allow victims to complete and submit an incident report online or create a confidential, time-stamped record and decide later if they want to take action.

Students who do not file immediately have the option of having the report sent automatically if someone else reports the same assailant. Students can also file reports with campus police or their resident adviser.

Nationwide, one in five women is sexually assaulted in college and many men are as well, according to Sexual Health Innovations, the nonprofit organization that developed the website. It also states that less than 10 percent of the students report the attack.

“The problem of sexual assault on college campuses has been ubiquitous in the news, and many schools focus on prevention,” says Peter Novak, vice provost of student life. “While USF has fantastic resources to prevent sexual assault, we want to likewise have the best resources available for students to report sexual assault, which is chronically underreported throughout the country.”

Through Callisto, students can also submit anonymous answers to questions such as “Is there anything you think your school could have done to prevent this from happening?” USF hopes this information will help improve its community outreach and prevention efforts.