Interesting to note that how times have changed. We have movies with women rightfully leading the castes. We have Academy award speeches that highlight the plight of unequal pay scales, men still thumping their ‘contemporaries’ with better economic weight. We have women leading the start up culture and dominating corp-buzz today like no other decade previously witnessed. But even then, every other day, there’s a woman somewhere out there that falls into the perverse pit of sexual crime or exploitation.
In an age marked by incessant rise in technology, where the society is still coming together to birth campaigns and movements that have women’s safety at the heart of the idea and Feminism as the popular slogan of time, sexual crime against women, leading to myriad cases of harassment haven’t witnessed the downturn.
Perhaps, it suffices to say that perversion and harassment are two sides of the same urban coin in today’s life. The scenario confronting women today hasn’t changed a great deal- regardless of discerning lens of a social critic or an Academy lecturer. And perhaps it won’t, unless and until we incorporate technology and it’s paraphernalia to address the plight of this ephemeral gender that is responsible for multiple roles in the society acting as an irreplaceable fillip- mothers, daughters, wives and, sisters.
But aggrieved by the seeming limitlessness of sexual crimes committed against women, one technology-related startup has taken matters in its own hands, in giving birth to a utility whose time- one’s got to agree- has come. In America, sexual offences against women even in University campuses aren’t a strange phenomenon. Young girls are the object of perverse desire in the eyes of the perpetrators. The usual conception about victims of sexual assault is that the public is quick to shed some sympathy, display emotional support; with the soul in centre of a storm surrounded by listless faces at all these times. Callisto- a non-profit setup based in the United States assists victims of sexual crimes by developing technology and systems to empower victims.
Quick to pass judgement but painfully slow to recognise the upheaval of the sufferer, perhaps it is time that the society wakes up to technological support systems like Callisto . Here’s some insight. It’s never easy for the victim, particularly for someone who’s a young student bound by a campus life in midst of shaping a promising career to report the actual detailing of the crime. There’s a very open culture of bias and preconceived notion that mars the mindset of a sufferer from reporting the horror that’s only just been witnessed. This process of reporting can therefore be an onerous challenge, hold the dubious power of reigniting the trauma that’s just been faced.
Callisto, in its development of its campus online system, enables a victim to report the crime confidentially, using an online system. Thus far, Callisto covers 149,000 students from as many as 12 campuses in the US apart from serving the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. Callisto’s online offence-reporting system enables students to record their experience not only in the immediate aftermath but accurately so. They can record their experience at a time that suits them and keep it marked as an encrypted episode, that is time-stamped. Usually, it’s been seen that multiple students come under the attack of the same predator. It has been seen that 15% of survivors who use Callisto’s matching system have their identity matched with another victim; one who’s also been attacked by the same predator. Reports are given to the college authorities only upon informing a victim who’s undergone the trauma.
It is needless to say that in times where crimes against women, specifically including sexual crimes are becoming an order of the day, regardless of time or place, one’s got to be the know of things to protect one’s own dignity and be a master of one’s own fortune.