Even in 2020, California workers still do not feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behavior in their workplaces. In fact, one study shows that no more than 6% of those suffering from sexual harassment formally report it. To make matters worse, fewer than 1% file criminal charges. For this reason, two companies have created apps that allow anonymous reporting, which could help victims who fear retaliation and other repercussions the ability to come forward.
The Vault Platform and #NotMe apps provide victims or witnesses with the ability to report sexual harassment without revealing their identities. Companies contract with the companies providing these apps and let their employees know about them. According to the CEO of #NotMe, the goal is to empower people who otherwise would remain silent.
The CEO of Vault Platform says that companies that contract with them have reported an increase in reports of around 40% since using the app. That is significant considering the results of the study listed above. It is believed that the anonymity the apps provide is the key, but there is another benefit as well. Organizations can follow up by asking questions and taking additional information through the app, which helps preserve the anonymity of the person making the report.
Giving victims and witnesses of sexual harassment a way to report incidents without the fear of repercussions could help clean up workplaces that have been tainted by these perpetrators for a long time. People who engage in these behaviors and get away with them once often continue to do so. This makes the work environmental uncomfortable and even hostile for a lot of people. California employees could let their employers know about these apps, and perhaps the individual perpetrating these acts could be brought to justice.