Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I create a sexual abuse/harassment report with UsToo?
Even if you don’t want to report a case of sexual abuse/harassment to anybody right now, by filling out a report with UsToo, you create a time stamped record for only you to keep.
This means, if you ever change your mind and decide to report this event in the future, you will already have stated the details while the event was fresh in your memory and this can help another survivor with the same perpetrator as you, in the event of a court case.
What type of abuse/harassment can I report to UsToo’s database?
We accept three types of aggressor reporting in our database. A. Sexual Assault reports B. Sexual Harassment reports C. Sexually Transmitted Infection by malicious or wrongful intent reports. Each of these violations are explained below:
A. ‘Sexual assault’ includes all unwanted sexual touch and contact especially involving one’s breasts, bottoms or genitals. It is common for survivors to feel confused or unsure about whether or not an assault/harassment was ‘bad enough’ to report or they might wonder if an assault was perhaps just a ‘terrible misunderstanding’ or ‘maybe I led them on and it was my fault’. At UsToo, no sexual assault or sexual harassment is too small or insignificant to report. We simply join you with others who have made similar reports about your shared aggressor. If no one else reported this aggressor to our database, then you will not get a match, that’s all. Some examples of sexual assault are detailed below:
- ‘I was at work and a colleague pat my buttock as I walked by’.
- ‘I woke up remembering not too much except for being carried by my aggressor. Then I vomited. Then all I remember is the aggressor’s fingers inside my body.’
- ‘When I was fifteen, my teacher/parent/sibling fondled my genitals and/or coerced me to fondle theirs’.
B. ‘Sexual harassment’ is defined in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 as ‘an unwelcome sexual advance’, ‘an unwelcome request for sexual favours’ or ‘other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’, examples of sexual harassment are detailed below:
- Demanding hugs, invading personal space, unnecessary physical contact, derogatory language and comments toward women (or men, depending on the circumstances), sex-specific derogatory names, leering, displaying or circulating pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons (including online), sexual jokes, rough and vulgar humour related to gender, sexual or gender-related comment or conduct used to bully a person, propositions of physical intimacy, demanding dates or sexual favours, requiring an employee to dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way, threats to penalize a person who refuses to comply with a sexual advance.
C. Sexually transmitted infection by an infected person who knew they were infected with an STI by a medical report and failed to alert their sexual partner. This can be considered a crime in some cases. Common Sexually transmitted infections include: HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Herpes, HPV, Syphilis etc.
How does UsToo work?
Up to 90% of sexual abusers repeat their acts. UsToo operates a sexual abuse reporting database that unites survivors who share the SAME aggressor of sexual assault, sexual harassment or wrongful infection of a sexually transmitted disease. We aim to empower survivors of sexual abuse by giving them strength in numbers to support each other in holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Here are the steps that happen when you use the UsToo database:
A. A survivor anonymously submits a report about a Sexual assault, Sexual harassment, or Sexually transmitted disease by malicious or wrongful intent.
B. They receive a time stamped, PDF copy of their report. Now they can email it to the authority, professional or department that can best follow up with their report. Survivors can choose to discuss their report with an UsToo referred lawyer or therapist.
C. Our database searches for another survivor’s report that identified the SAME aggressor you did. We notify you when there is a match in our system.
D. When 2 or more matching aggressor reports are found in the UsToo database, we ask all the survivors to identify themselves to a UsToo professional.
Then we connect the survivors anonymously to each other via encrypted email messaging groups.
This way, survivors can discuss sending their reports to the same local authorities or professionals to support each other in holding a perpetrator accountable for their actions.
Are there any legal implications when I submit my report to the UsToo Database?
Yes, submitting a claim to our database comes with a few caveats.
UsToo is bound by the laws of the various jurisdictions in which we operate. Consequently, we may be bound by legally issued subpoenas and/or warrants to provide data contained within our database. That said, we do not keep a copy of your reports.
After someone submits a report, the other survivor(s) whom you matched up with can hire a lawyer who can then demand (by subpoena) that we send them the information that you have submitted so they can use it in court to support their claims against the aggressor.
There is also a possibility that you are ‘subpoenaed’ by a fellow survivor requiring your attendance in court to testify against the aggressor.
Under these circumstances, your attendance in court and testimony may be required. If you really don’t want to testify against your aggressor, you have the option to contest the subpoena, but for this you may need a lawyer.
The police may receive your email address and contact you as part of an investigation into the aggressor, you have the right not to give them any information if that is what you wish. Otherwise, you can cooperate with their investigation.
What if I just want to meet other survivors who share the same aggressor as I do, but I don’t want to take any legal action?
UsToo supports your decision to connect with other survivors even if you don’t want to take any legal action.
Will anyone else see my information besides for UsToo?
In short, no one’s identity will be disclosed by UsToo reporting except if this information is subpoenaed by a judge for criminal/court investigations or court proceedings or unless TUN asks a survivor to verify a survivor’s identity before teaming them up. To protect your privacy rights, our database does not keep a copy of your report. UsToo may use overall report data to connect survivors and to help us better understand the numbers of sexual assault or sexual harassment cases within a certain location, business or organization. Using this larger data, we may communicate the magnitude of these issues to the public, as well as to the companies/locations/businesses in affiliation to these reports who have the power to improve these conditions and help prevent more cases from reoccurring.
If I want to sue my aggressor for damages, do I have to first report them to the police and go through criminal court?
In cases of assault, a lawyer will usually recommend that you notify the police of the assault but this is still your choice and not strictly necessary. For the other reports not involving sexual assault, no police involvement is usually recommended by a lawyer. Not all sexual assault/abuse claims lead to criminal court proceedings, so suing an aggressor in civil court may be your next legal option.
What if I don’t know my aggressor’s name?
You may submit your form with UsToo even if you do not know your aggressor’s identity. In the future you may choose to be contacted by UsToo when we get statistical data by other survivors who submit the same location/business related to their sexual assault as yours. We plan for our database to match reports by other aggressor information you provide us with, such as phone number, social media name, dating app username, car license plate number and profile photo links you provide us with.
I was sexually assaulted/abused or harassed thirty years ago, can I still report this assault to the database?
Yes, we encourage you to.
There is no time limit to reporting an aggressor to our database. That said, time limits may influence your legal options in accordance with your state or provinces local laws.
When and how will I be contacted by UsToo?
You will be contacted by UsToo via the email address you provide us with immediately after you submit your report. In this email, we’ll provide you with the PDF version of your report, and we’ll contact you when another survivor submits a report about your shared aggressor. When there is a matching perpetrator report, we will then ask you to complete your online identification profile before putting you in touch anonymously with the other survivor(s) via encrypted email group.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Yes, you may submit a report anonymously. If you want to remain anonymous to the UsToo team, that is okay, but we will not connect you to other survivors who reported the same aggressor you did.
Once UsToo finds another survivor who reported the same aggressor you did, we will ask you to disclose your identity to us before we connect you anonymously with the other survivor(s) by encrypted email group. All reports still require you to provide us with your email address where UsToo can best reach you at even if you are reporting anonymously.
Can I choose to remain anonymous to the other survivors forever, even after I am anonymously connected with them?
Yes. You may all agree to individually forward your reports to the same lawyer, police investigator, other professional or workplace department. This professional is legally mandated to keep each person’s identity anonymous to the others. Otherwise, some survivors can choose to meet each other with the guidance of this professional by first signing a ‘disclosure agreement’.
How Does UsToo verify my identity before anonymously connecting me with the other survivors by encrypted email group?
To verify your identity we need you to send us an email from the SAME EMAIL ADDRESS that we sent your sexual abuse/harassment PDF form to, along with the UsToo encrypted email address we send you, along with one CLEAR photo of you to: firstname.lastname@example.org :
In this photo, you are holding these 2 papers near your face:
- A piece of paper with the today’s date AND your signature handwritten on it.
- A picture of you holding this piece of paper (point 1) and your government issued photo ID. (A government issued photo ID can include a passport OR drivers licence OR Government Healthcare card (ex:RAMQ)).
*To protect your privacy, immediately after UsToo finishes identifying you, your ID information will be deleted from our system.
If I was sexually abused multiple times, how should I report my aggressor(s) to the UsToo database?
If multiple perpetrators were involved in one assault, you may submit one report which includes all those aggressors’ identification information.
You should submit one report for each different aggressor but if the same aggressor sexually assaulted you multiple times then you should still submit one report for this aggressor because that’s all the information we need to find you a match.
I received the survivor(s) encrypted email group contact information, now how do I proceed?
Once you’re connected to the survivor group by encrypted email address (to the other survivors who reported the SAME perpetrator as you did), no disclosure of your identity is recommended. Instead, UsToo recommends that you disclose to the other survivors only the email addresses of all the professionals you’ve already sent your report to, so their reports can support your claims.
This way multiple reports identifying the SAME perpetrator can reach the SAME professional or workplace department. Additionally, each survivor can choose to meet the others with the guidance of this professional by first signing a ‘disclosure agreement’.
How does UsToo deter false reporting?
UsToo cooperates with the police one hundred percent. To deter false reporters, when subpoenaed, UsToo can provide all of a survivor’s email address information to the police. This means that anyone who submits a report to UsToo may be contacted by the police for further investigation into their claims. This acts as a deterrent to anyone who considers falsely accusing innocent people. In order to further deter false reporting, UsToo highly recommends that survivors report criminal abuse to police because false reporting to police is unlikely. We also understand that not all kinds of abuse can be reported to the police and that some survivors don’t feel ready to report abuse to the police. For these reasons, if desired, UsToo encourages survivors to seek attorney intervention to build evidence based, reliable legal cases.
Can I take delete, update or edit the information in my report?
You can delete your own report, UsToo does not keep a copy of it. We highly recommend saving your report, even if you don’t plan on using it in the near future. You may not edit your report because this can negatively affect a future court case.