Anita Hill launching app aimed at holding abusers accountable

The new app will give women who have experienced sexual harassment a tool to track the abuse

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Law professor Anita Hill, whose landmark 1991 Congressional testimony alleging sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas was an early hallmark of today’s #MeToo movement, is developing an application that holds serial abusers accountable and provides training for survivors.

A survey spearheaded by The Hollywood Commission, a nonprofit organization that surveys the entertainment industry’s ethical climate and culture, of which Hill is a chairperson, found that survivors want to track harassment and abuse in the workplace.

READ MORE: The Hollywood Commission, led by Anita Hill, releases latest report

The 2020 MAKERS Conference - Day Two
Anita Hill speaks onstage during The 2020 MAKERS Conference on February 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Of the more than 9,600 anonymous current and former workers in Hollywood who completed it, 93% of respondents want an application that will create a time-stamped record to track harassment and abuse in the workplace, TheWrap reported.

The app will feature two-way anonymous messaging that would allow users to speak freely and ask questions. 

Another finding shows that 91% of survivors want to teach bystanders who witness workplace misconduct how to respond and report incidents.

According to TheWrap, The Hollywood Commission will train 450 entertainment workers, who will then train others, on how to respond to abuse and be an ally to those who are abused.

READ MORE: Anita Hill pledges to vote for Joe Biden and work with him on gender issues

Hill spoke at TheWrap‘s annual Power Women Summit where she revealed that she’s working on the app to empower women. 

Anita Hill sexual harassment thegrio.com
Dr. Anita Hill attends Vanity Fair and Lancôme Toast Women in Hollywood on February 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

“All of the practices in the world are not going to work unless people trust them. So we’ve got to build a values-based system and, perhaps most importantly of all, we have to ensure accountability,” Hill said. “We can be better in the entertainment industry. But to do that we have to make changes.”

“When a complaint about the same person comes into the system, [the complainant] will be notified. That way, we can offer individuals a chance to come forward with the support and knowing that someone else has experienced the same problem,” Hill added.

Though it does not yet have an official name, The Hollywood Commission hopes to launch the beta version of its app within the first three months of 2021.

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