Towards Developing Trust in Online Third-Party Reporting Systems for Survivors of Sexual Assault

VESTA Social Innovation Technologies, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, is investigating people’s opinions on third-party reporting systems.

Third-party reporting is when someone else reports the crime to the police. It allows individuals who do not want to report the crime directly to ensure that police receive a report about the crime. Individuals may report the assault to police through a community-based victim-service program. This way of reporting protects the individual’s identity and also allows the police to get the information they need.  For example, if police learn additional details about the crime through their investigation, such as the name of the offender, or if other victims have come forward, the third party can act as a go-between for police to get information from the individual.

We are recruiting sexual assault survivors and volunteers/staff of third-party reporting organizations. To be eligible to take part in the study, participants must be 19 years or older. The study is open to all genders, and no background knowledge about a third-party reporting system is required.

Based on the participant’s preference, we will either interview the participant (in-person or via Skype) or conduct an in-person or online focus group session.

The interview sessions will take place at the participant’s preferred location and will last approximately 60 minutes. The focus group sessions will last about 90 minutes and will take place either at the Greater Toronto Area or Kingston/Frontenac or online.

We will compensate participants with $20 for their time. Volunteers or staff from a third-party support organization will be available to provide support during and after each session.

By taking part in this study, you will provide researchers with the information needed to develop online third-party reporting systems. 

If you are interested in taking part in this research or for more information, please contact the co-investigator, Borke Obada-Obieh, via email

If you have questions, please contact the principal study investigator

Prof. Konstantin Beznosov