Callisto Vault: A Post-Assault Resource Option for College Students and College Athletes

For survivors of sexual assault on college campuses, reporting options are frequently intimidating and rarely successful. Title IX cases result in a severe disruption to a victim’s education in 39% of cases. In the court system, per every 1000 sexual assaults, only 25 perpetrators will face consequences. 

These statistics leave college students who have experienced sexual assault wary of reporting to either entity for fear of further traumatization. Notably, the majority of perpetrators in these cases are likely serial offenders, victimizing an average of six people each. 

This is where Callisto comes in. Their encrypted and secure platform, Callisto Vault, can be used to detect serial perpetrators on college campuses and connect their victims. The purpose of this innovative technology is to validate the survivors’ experience while increasing the likelihood of accountability should they choose to report. 

“Our mission is to use technology to empower survivors of sexual violence,” says Sarayfah Bolling, Director of Programs and Strategic Engagement at Callisto. “What it does is demonstrate that this perpetrator has a pattern of behavior that is harmful, problematic, and that does provide for an increased likelihood of accountability or justice.” 

According to the organization, 2.5 million college students are sexually assaulted every year, and only 6%, or 150,000, report to Title IX or the police. 

Callisto Vault is a fully encrypted system that protects survivors against frivolous defamation suits, helps survivors make informed decisions, and provides them access to a legal options counselor. 

Callisto Vault is available to survivors with an .edu email in the U.S. and its territories, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Although this is only a small subsection of athletes in the U.S., for female and gender non-conforming athletes especially, the impacts are huge. Many high-profile cases of athletes in male, revenue-producing sports sexually assaulting female athletes from smaller or non-revenue-producing teams have come to light in recent years. However, committing sexual assault is not a reason athletes can be banned from NCAA play. For athletes who have experienced sexual assault at the hands of more powerful athletes or coaches, Callisto Vault can be a useful tool in connecting victims with legal options and with each other. 

Like Greek life, Bolling says, athletics can be an insular space, making the barriers to reporting even higher.

“Sometimes it may be challenging to figure out where you can turn to get information or resources or the fact that sometimes these [perpetrators] have long histories of harm across a number of athletic groups,’ Bolling says of sexual misconduct in athletics. “Oftentimes, if you're one survivor, there's probably many more that you wouldn't ever be aware of.” 

Some survivors who use Callisto Vault are concerned about privacy. However, Bolling clarifies that since the system is fully encrypted, not even Callisto staff can see the responses. This also protects Callisto from subpoenas, meaning that a survivor’s information cannot be forcibly shared with the courts. Callisto does not contract with colleges or universities directly, meaning it has no obligation to share data with them. 

Although the pursuit of legal and law enforcement reporting options is restricted based on a state’s statute of limitations, survivors can still use Callisto Vault even if the statute of limitations has expired. In other words, survivors can enter into the Matching System regardless of when or where the incident occurred. The perpetrator does not have to be a member of the campus community. 

To use Callisto Vault, head to From there, survivors can choose to enter into the Matching System, create an Incident Log, or both. The Matching System “allows survivors to safely determine whether others have been harmed by the same perpetrator without having to publicly disclose or report to authorities.” From there, if two or more survivors report the same perpetrator using unique data, they will be connected with each other and with a legal options counselor if they consent to do so. 

Why is connecting survivors powerful? 

The #MeToo movement proved that there is power in connecting survivors. Historically, survivors were required to go public with allegations before truly understanding their options for pursuing justice or awareness of the risks involved. Callisto Vault allows survivors to connect without having to publicly identify themselves, protecting them from the backlash and risk of defamation that often comes with being the first person to share an experience. Additionally, it provides survivors with the validation necessary to begin their healing journey. 

Moreover, connecting survivors through Callisto Vault helps to establish a pattern of evidence that has the potential to increase justice and accountability outcomes for those perpetrators who are causing harm – ultimately reducing sexual assault on college campuses. 

Additionally, Callisto’s Incident Log “allows a survivor to create a detailed and timestamped record of their sexual assault as they decide what steps, if any, they might like to take next.” This can help survivors process trauma, document details of the incident, inform a future formal report and determine how to move forward with reporting if they choose. 

Callisto’s website also includes informational resources about Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (commonly referred to as “rape kits”), as well as an Allies’ Guide for loved ones of survivors and a Survivor’s Guide to help inform survivors following a sexual assault. 

If you have experienced sexual violence, know you are not alone. We all have a role to play in keeping sports as safe and healthy as possible. For more information, check out our comprehensive list of resources

Madison Smith 

Communications Manager at #WeRideTogether

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