Katie Koestner was a victim of date rape in 1990 while a freshman in college. The incident made national news the following year in a Time magazine cover article, and she has been telling her story ever since.
Ms. Koestner will present a free program, “No-Yes: A Survivor Speaks,” Thursday, November 6, at the main Newark and West Essex campuses. It will take place at 11 a.m. in West Essex and 2:30 p.m. at Newark in Smith Hall. She will also present a special workshop, “From Hurt to Healing,” at 2 p.m., also in Smith Hall.
“Making it (date rape) personal is much more effective than just talking about statistics,” Ms. Koestner said in explaining why she has given more than 1,500 talks on student safety issues. The first victim of date rape to speak out publicly, she has also appeared on such shows as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Geraldo, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and NBC Nightly News. HBO produced the movie, “No Visible Bruises: The Katie Koestner Story,” in 1993.
Following the attack at the College of William and Mary, Ms. Koestner transferred to Cornell University while the college’s judicial process played out. Her attacker (who she had met earlier that semester) was subsequently accused of a second attack and she decided to transfer back to William and Mary. “They eventually allowed him back in school while I was still a student; it was really the dark ages,” she noted, in regards to the handling of sexual assault and date rape.
But Ms. Koestner was able to remain focused on her school work and graduated with a 3.87 grade point average and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Women’s Studies.
Today she is executive director of Campus Outreach Services (a national sexual violence resources center) and the Take Back the Night Foundation.
The program is sponsored by the College’s Student Life & Activities Office. Call 973.877.3064 for additional information.