The Atlantic published an article proposing “allegation escrow” systems to be used to stop sexual harassment in the workplace.
Referencing a 2012 scholarly article which proposed “the use of an allegation escrow to allow victims to transmit claims information to a trusted intermediary,” the Atlantic explained how such a concept could be used to combat sexual harassment and abuse.
“A variation on that idea is already being used by the nonprofit organization Callisto, a third-party reporting system for victims of sexual assault on college campuses,” they reported. “Jessica Ladd, the company’s founder, built Callisto after extensive consultations with students who’d been frustrated by the process of reporting that they were sexually assaulted.”
The system is reportedly being used at universities including Stanford, the University of Oregon, USC, and Pomona College, and “offers three options to students.”
“They can save time-stamped written accounts of a sexual assault; report the allegations electronically to campus authorities or police; or report the assault only if another victim names the same perpetrator,” the Atlantic explained, adding that, “Sooner or later, a similar approach will almost certainly be tested on workplace sexual harassment.”
“Dozens of variations are possible,” they claimed. “For example, imagine that a worker in most any industry could choose to report unwanted sexual behavior to a third-party sexual-harassment clearinghouse.”
The Atlantic went on to theorize that such a system could have “stopped” alleged abusers such as disgraced Hollywood producer and Democrat donor Harvey Weinstein.
“It might offer victims who dread the idea of going to HR but who also fear that others might be harmed if they stay silent an empowering option,” the article claimed. “Its mere existence would surely be a deterrent to some serial workplace harassers. And it might be a constructive way for well-intentioned people who cluelessly make a colleague (or several) uncomfortable to grasp how their actions affect others, without the need for an awkward confrontation or a formal intervention by management.”
The Atlantic did acknowledge that such a system could present drawbacks as well. “The only worry I have about anonymity would be along the lines of the toxic workplace culture that Amazon reportedly created with its anonymous reporting about co-worker performance,” Lara Stemple, the director of UCLA’s Health and Human Rights Law Project, told the outlet.