Answers

Who Might Use I'm With Them?

  1. Is I'm With Them just for women? [+]

    Any person who has experienced work-related sexual harassment or assault who feels it is likely the perpetrator has engaged in such behavior with others is welcome to use I'm With Them.

  2. Could a person who was harassed by a work colleague outside of a workplace, like at a conference or at a restaurant, find I'm With Them effective? [+]

  3. Could I'm With Them be of assistance to someone who never wants their experience or their interaction with a perpetrator to become known? [+]

    Unfortunately, no. The purpose of I'm With Them is to meet others affected by the same perpetrator. Once a User reveals that information to someone else, their experience will no longer be private. Because the User is our priority, if the "outing" of their experience or their association with the perpetrator would make the User uncomfortable, they should not use I'm With Them. I'm With Them does not currently have a way to handle anonymous contributions. If the victim experienced an assault, we would recommend they speak with resources at RAINN to more fully understand their options. Alternatively, they might want to consider reporting through an anonymous hotline.

  4. Could I'm WIth Them be an effective tool for someone who was victimized by a religious leader? [+]

    Yes, if the religious leader has engaged repeatedly in misconduct.

  5. Could I'm With Them be an effective tool for someone who was victimized by a fellow congregant? [+]

    Maybe not particularly well. It would be harder to draw connections between this person and others s/he might have victimized if they were victimized in other non-work scenarios.

  6. Could I'm With Them be an effective tool for someone who was victimized as a child? [+]

    Yes, if the perpetrator engaged repeatedly in an intentional violation of the conduct of his/her profession, I'm With Them could help his/her victims identify others who have been similarly victimized. For the moment, we are not focused specifically on this particular area of sexual misconduct, but we would like to invest more in it after we have the system up and running. That being said, we think this might be a very important, second focus for I'm With Them.

  7. Could I'm With Them be an effective tool for a student who was victimized by a teacher? [+]

    Yes, if the perpetrator repeatedly engages in behavior that school policy regards as hostile.

  8. Could I'm With Them be an effective tool for a teacher who was victimized by a student? [+]

    Yes, if the perpetrator repeatedly engages in behavior that school policy regards as hostile.

  9. Could I'm With Them be an effective tool for a student who was victimized by another student? [+]

    Yes, if the perpetrator repeatedly engages in behavior that school policy regards as hostile.

  10. Can I'm With Them be used by a group of people as a witch hunt to ruin someone? [+]

    A group with a conspiracy against an individual would not gain any benefit by using I'm With Them. Entering their data into the system, they would simply connect with people already "in" on the "plot."

  11. Can I'm With Them be used by a jilted lover or someone who had a bad date to ruin someone? [+]

    An individual with a grudge against another individual would not gain any benefit by using I'm With Them.

  12. Would this system report people who made a bad joke once? [+]

    Note that I'm With Them is not designed for reporting. I'm With Them identifies serial perpetrators or predators. It would take more than one bad joke or one bad date to trigger connections. It is possible our system could identify a person who unintentionally, repeatedly offended people. However, it would be best for that person, those offended by them, and the organization(s) involved to address the circumstances rather than allow them to fester.

  13. How would I'm With Them address the person in an office who dresses inappropriately, unprofessionally, or in a distracting manner? [+]

    If there is ambiguity over how to dress, the company may need a stated dress code policy to address an environment that makes people feel uncomfortable. If multiple people in an office find apparel inappropriate, those affected should likely together speak directly with the employer, who is the ultimate arbiter of how to dress in this workplace. Given that the affected people already know one another, we're not sure I'm With Them would provide any benefit to them.

How I'm With Them Does & Doesn't Work

  1. How does I'm With Them work? [+]

    Our idea is simple, which is part of its beauty: What is the minimum information needed to connect those subjected to sexual harassment (and assault) by a serial perpetrator, for them to have a critical mass that will command attention? Some sexual harassment is subtle and is better substantiated by corroboration of more individuals. We identify cohorts of users with a common perpetrator, and we ask for limited data about user experiences. When the numbers are in a "good enough" range, we send each of the users the email addresses of the others. No aspect of their individual experience is shared.

  2. How do you ensure that the User is who they say they are? [+]

    When the User registers, we authenticate them in a four step process.

  3. Why do you need so many of a User’s personal details to register them? [+]

    Our goal is to protect every User from people who try to enter the system posing as someone other than who they are. The only way we can do this today is by ensuring everyone is who they say they are. The details are requested to compare with other data proving the person's identity and that they actually are in possession of the email and cell phone number they give us.

  4. What personal information does I'm With Them keep after the User has registered? [+]

    We keep the User's name, email address, cell phone, and birthyear. During registration, the website requests the User’s full birthdate, home address, the last four digits of their social security number and credit card information. However, all of that information, except for the birthyear, is expunged after registration. We also keep some technical details about their system, which we use to improve our services.

  5. What is I'm With Them’s approach to security? [+]

    Security and Privacy are primary business objectives of I'm With Them. I'm With Them is PCI-A compliant and strives to meet GDPR requirements as much as possible. We have reviewed various well-known industry lapses, and endeavor to have in place policies, mechanisms, software, systems, and processes to reduce the likelihood of a breach.

    I'm With Them is hosted in AWS, which is compliant with ISO 27001, SOC2, and PCI DSS. AWS is built with data center and network architecture, as well as physical security, designed to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive applications. We leverage the security and reliability features of AWS to build the most secure service possible.

    Beyond adopting these standards, we attempt to minimize the User’s uniquely identifying information we keep. Credit card processing is handled by a third party, so this is not a target for breach on our site. Of the Personal Information the User shares with us at registration, we keep only the name, birthyear, email address, and cell phone number.

    Also, instead of collecting a free-response “statement” of the User’s experience(s) with a perpetrator, we ask the User to characterize their experience by checking boxes and selecting buttons that capture some, but not all, of what happened. I'm With Them doesn't collect enough information for an outsider to understand the full scope of the incident.

  6. Is there a fee for joining I'm With Them? [+]

    A small, nonrefundable fee of $3.00 is charged to the User when they register. This covers the cost of authentication and helps to cover the cost of maintaining the website. Once the User has registered, they are not charged again, regardless of the number of perpetrators or events they log.

  7. Do authentication and credit card charges present challenges for undocumented victims who want to use I'm With Them? [+]

    To some extent, yes. We believe this is a problem, and we want to find viable solutions. At the same time, these systems are designed to reduce fraud at I'm With Them, which would be an important goal for both citizen and undocumented victims. We are considering other ways of authentication and the potential for eliminating the fee.

  8. Do you resell the User's personal information? [+]

    No. We will not sell our Users’ personally identifying information. For more info, see our Privacy Policy.

  9. What information does I'm With Them show or release to users? [+]

    The only information released to users is the names of other users who have been victimized by the same, serial perpetrator, and their basic contact data.

  10. Once "inside" the website, can one User see the information other users have put into the system? [+]

    No. The User sees only the data they have entered. The only information released to users is the names of other users who have been victimized by the same, serial perpetrator, and their email addresses, and only when a critical mass occurs.

  11. Will you report a User's personal data to their company or their perpetrator's company? [+]

    We will not reveal a User's identity or their individual experience to any company, unless compelled to do so by legal means. We reserve the right to reveal the names of repeat perpetrators to authorities as appropriate, though that is of secondary interest to us.

  12. Why don't you share aspects of the User’s experiences with other users? [+]

    Each victim's individual experience belongs to them. We feel they should have control over where and how they share that information, as well as how many details they wish to share. As well, this gives the User the ability to evaluate and develop trust with other users before sharing their experiences. They are in control.

  13. Why does the system have the User characterize their experience with a perpetrator by checking boxes and selecting buttons, rather than writing a free-form description of their experience, which would make them feel more heard? [+]

    We use the characterization system for five reasons. First, we want the User to be in control of the detailed description of their experience. Second, reducing a potential free-response description to characterization data reduces the risk to the User that their entire experience would be revealed through some nefarious attack. Third, we are not a system for recording experiences for the purpose of justice systems, and we would not want to be mistaken for one. Others, like Project Callisto, serve this purpose. Fourth, we anticipate we will have thousands of users, and we are not in a position to analyze that volume of free-response data, nor to build artificial intelligence that can scan such descriptions. Fifth, it is easier to analyze the characterization data if the User has already reduced it to, for example, yes/no/maybe.

  14. How quickly will contact information be exchanged between users? [+]

    It is possible connections will never be made. This could happen if only 1 or 2 people logged data about the same perpetrator or their experiences were minimally offensive. We expect users to receive connection information in months to years. As well, we want users and anyone whom they notify to perceive this service as a serious matter, not a hasty or uninformed action for quick rewards.

  15. What recommendations does I'm With Them give to Users when they connect? [+]

    When I'm With Them finds a critical mass of Users with the same perpetrator, Users are given the names and email addresses of other Users. We provide a series of research steps that the User might take to evaluate other Users before speaking with them.

  16. There's got to be a catch. Surely you are going to share users' personal data with someone? [+]

    No, not their specific data, and we only share connection information between victims of the same perpetrator. We will be studying aggregated data given to us by users to identify patterns of serial perpetrators, patterns within companies and patterns across industries. No users' specific data will be willingly shared.

  17. Is this a social network? Will you host or monitor users' communications with each other? [+]

    No. The reason we share the users' contact information with other users that have had similar experiences with the same perpetrator is so that they may communicate individually and separately from us on their own terms.

  18. Will I'm With Them publish the names of perpetrators like crowd-sourced spreadsheets do? [+]

    It won't. Our position is that the individuals affected by perpetrators own their stories and experiences. Likewise, there have been and likely will continue to be online sources where users can post names of perpetrators.

  19. Will I'm With Them warn potential victims to stay away from a serial perpetrator/predator like a crowd-sourced spreadsheet? [+]

    It won't. However, through I'm With Them, owing to their relationship with a common perpetrator, users may be connected and may then take action that will result in a perpetrator's actions becoming publicly known.

  20. Will I'm With Them turn over records to legal authorities? [+]

  21. What if a User later regrets entering the information and doesn't want to meet other users or settles a lawsuit with a confidentiality clause and cannot speak about their situation? [+]

    A User can sign in to the website and delete their personal information from the My Profile page under the menu with their name on it. Upon deleting their record, we will no longer have information that identifies the User. If the User comes to this decision after connection information has already been shared, we would recommend the User tell others they no longer feel comfortable sharing any information.

General Questions

  1. What is the mission of I'm With Them? [+]

    Our mission is reduce work-related sexual misconduct by privately connecting victims who have the same perpetrator, empowering them to take coordinated action.

  2. What types of harassment does I'm With Them address? [+]

    I'm With Them addresses work-related misconduct and criminal conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature. In particular, we address serial perpetrators who have a professional role, when the societal expectation for behavior is professionalism. In their relationship with victims, perpetrators often have been endowed with some authority, whether by their employer (as would be the case for the leader of a religious institution, a medical professional, a professor at a university, or a coach of an athletics team) or through their relationship to an institution (a volunteer for a club). I'm With Them specifically addresses serial perpetrators who intentionally, willfully and repeatedly act against society's norms and/or laws.

  3. Which does I'm With Them address: harassment or assault? [+]

    Both. While assault is clearly egregious and criminal, the majority of sexual misconduct is harassment. We support victims of either across the entire spectrum of behaviors.

  4. Why are you focused only on sexual or gender-based misconduct and not on, say, racially-charged or motivated misconduct? [+]

    We felt it was important to start somewhere. As we build on the success of I'm With Them, we recognize racially-charged or prejudiced misconduct represents an important opportunity to make a difference.

  5. How did you come up with this idea? [+]

    Each of the sets of brave women who have come forward to speak truth to power have been an inspiration, including but not limited to the survivors of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Larry Nassar. Through years of denial and unjust time limits, they persevered to obtain justice. Moira Donegan's "Shitty Media Men's List" and Karen Kelsky's "A Crowdsourced Survey of Harassment in the Academy" suggested demand exists for identifying repeated perpetrators, sharing common experiences, and supporting others who have had similar experiences. We felt we could accelerate this process by providing a private way of connecting victims to each other. We also noticed that when victims have come forward through multiple, separate representatives, instead of simultaneously and together, their experiences have been compartmentalized in public dialog, distracting from the root problem: serial predators. We thought that if victims were connected to one another, they would then feel more emboldened to come forward together to prevent future misconduct.

  6. How could it be important for victims to get together? [+]

    I'm With Them recognizes two features of repeated, work-related, sexual misconduct. First, perpetrators isolate victims. Second, any one victim may

    • not have enough substantiation,
    • feel the situation was too ambiguous,
    • not feel comfortable speaking out alone,
    • not feel the outcome will be worth the hassle or
    • fear retribution.

    When victims can identify and support each other, these factors, the complete picture of serial perpetrator's behavior, and the potential for obtaining results are vastly improved.

  7. Are other companies doing this? [+]

    Actually, no. A couple of systems have been developed to help victims of sexual assault report their experiences to authorities. Project Callisto for example, has launched to support women who wish to report sexual assault to authorities, particularly when others have been affected; initial efforts focused on college campuses. At one point, it was announced that volunteers were creating an online communications platform for victims called "Silent Choir," but that never actually shipped.

  8. Are there any particular industries you are targeting? [+]

    No. We are industry independent and will address harassment in business, government, nonprofits, healthcare, the military, educational institutions, religious institutions, and other types of organizations. Not only are we pursuing harassment in any industry; not only are we pursuing the full spectrum of sexual harassment from subtle to assault; but we are also pursuing the type of harassment that occurs when the perpetrator is employed, and the victim is somehow in a lower status position, as when a woman approaches a VC for funding; an actor approaches a director for a part; a vendor will lose a contract if they don't capitulate; or the harassment occurs in an interview. In these types of circumstances, it is incredibly hard for "outsiders" to lodge a complaint directly on their own, but in numbers, there is greater power to end abuse.

  9. What types of actions do you foresee groups of victims taking? [+]

    Victims will take a variety of actions, from reporting employees to their companies to reporting criminals to the authorities. We believe that some groups will choose to take their experiences to the media or to social media.

  10. Are you a nonprofit? [+]

    I'm WIth Them is a California-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

  11. Can I donate to your organization/website? [+]

Help/Technical Support Questions

  1. My credit card charge didn't go through. What do I do? [+]

    Either it was declined by your card provider, a delay was put on the payment of the charge or you had a typo. We cannot accept delayed payments because of the cost to us of authentication. We recommend trying a different card.

  2. My personal data failed the authentication process. What should I do? [+]

    It is always possible you have mis-typed data. Otherwise, the authentication data you have provided does not align with the combination of your birthdate, home address and the last four digits of your Social Security number. If your home address has changed recently, you might try using the previous one. You can also contact us through the Contact Us link in the footer of the website.

  3. The system died in the middle of my registration! [+]

    Your password has been saved. Sign in to the system, and it will take you back to the last page you were on in the Registration process.

  4. I registered with an email address that I now no longer control. What do I do? [+]

    Sign in to the system and navigate to the My Profile page under your name in the upper righthand corner. You can change your email address there.

  5. I registered with a cell phone number that I now no longer control. What do I do? [+]

    Sign in to the system and navigate to the My Profile page under your name in the upper righthand corner. You can change your cell phone number there.

  6. I've forgotten my password. [+]

    Go to the Sign In page, enter your email address, and select "Forgot Password?"

  7. Should I also report my perpetrator to a company or the police or does I'm With Them do that for me? [+]

    I'm With Them does not report incident or personal data to companies or legal authorities. Should you wish to take action against the person who offended you, we recommend that you consider options available on our Take Action page.

  8. I still don't have connections. How long do I have to wait? [+]

    We apologize, but you may never have connections. We cannot guarantee connections because

    • the perpetrator may not have engaged in repeated behaviors
    • other victims may not feel as comfortable as you do,
    • other victims may not know about the existence of I'm With Them
    • other victims may have signed a confidentiality form as part of a settlement, which would mean they cannot legally come forward without penalties.

    In general, you should expect to wait months or years for connections to take place.

  9. I haven’t been notified that I have connections, but someone sent me an email claiming they had a connection to me. [+]

    It is possible you have missed the official notification of your connections, which would have been sent to you by email. Be sure you Sign In to the system to see whether you have new Connections. On the Dashboard, look under each of the Offenders you have logged with us. The "Connections" button is in the lower corner of each of the Offender cards. See if it is active on any of the cards. If you find an active Connections button, please doublehcheck the email address we have for you on the My Profile page under your name in the upper right hand corner. If, however, you have no connections, please report this person to us through the Contact Us form and ignore them. Also, if you have any ongoing action with an authority regarding your experience with an Offender or Offenders, please notify them that you have been contacted in this way.

  10. I have connections in the system, and someone sent me an email claiming they had a connection to me, but it's not one of the email addresses I've been given. What do I do? [+]

    Please be very sure that you haven't received a new set of connections recently and missed the notification. Sign back in. Select the "Connections" button in the lower corner of each of the Offender cards. See if it is active on any of the cards. Click on all active Connections buttons. Sometimes, after you have received a first set of connections, a second wave of connections will come through, so you might see new email addresses there. If you do, please doublecheck the email address we have for you on the My Profile page under your name in the upper right hand corner. It is possible this is a legitimate connection using the wrong email address. It is also possible this is a fraudster. Please protect yourself first and foremost. Do not reveal any information to the person until you have verified who they are. Please report fraudulent activity to us through the Contact Us form. If you have any ongoing action with an authority regarding your experience with an Offender or Offenders, please notify them that you have been contacted in this way.

  11. The Offender I reported to I'm With Them contacted me and said they knew I had "reported" them at I'm With Them. What should I do? [+]

    I'm With Them has not released your information, though if you have shared your experience with other connections or authorities, it is possible the Offender has learned of this through them or their contacts. It is also highly likely the Offender is testing you. Either way, you are being harassed again. We recommend that you do not respond to this individual and obtain the advice of an attorney.

  12. I entered data, and now I no longer want to be contacted by others. What should I do? [+]

    After signing in, you can find the My Profile page under the menu with your name on it in the upper right hand corner of the window. You can delete your personal information from the system from that page. Deleting your personal information (name, email address, cell phone number and birth year) means that we will no longer be able to associate you with the perpetrator or event, and you will no longer be able to recover an account associated with the perpetrator or incident data.

  13. One of my connections seems suspicious. What should I do? [+]

    First: your personal protection is our priority. Do not engage with the person any further than you feel comfortable. Then, report them to I'm With Them through the Contact Us form.

  14. I believe my name is in your system as a perpetrator. I wish to have it removed. What do I need to do? [+]

    I'm With Them does not willingly share or exchange information about users' experiences. Rather, it provides a way for strangers to connect with each other. If multiple people are not involved, there is no consequence to having your name stored in I'm With Them's database.

    You may reach out to us under the Contact Us page behind the similarly named link in the footer. Whether or not we acknowledge you are in our system, we will not ask our Users to engage with us regarding your request. From you, we will be looking for substantiation from a third party, such as an official letter from an HR Department or a judge, that indicates you are engaged in some kind of conflict and have been proven an innocent party.