Date Rape Survivor Recounts Experience

Early in her freshman year at college in 1990, Katie Koestner was raped by Peter, a friend she had known for a few days and gone on a date with. Koestner spoke on the taboo subject of date rape, sharing her experience and advice to help stop rape, in front of a small audience in the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall on Jan. 25.
‘Rape is not one of those things that fits on your resume, so I thought I should talk about it as much as possible to as many people as I could because most of the time, it never gets spoken about in the first person,’ Koestner said.
Koestner has received nationwide attention because of her efforts to raise awareness of date rape. She appeared on the June 2, 1991 cover of Time magazine, and her story was made into an HBO docudrama called ‘No Visible Bruises: The Katie Koestner Story.’
Koestner first met Peter at a mixer but was too shy to approach him and waited to run into him nonchalantly on their college campus. After meeting, they decided to study together for their chemistry class.
The friendly relationship took a turn when Peter asked to take Koestner on a date. The following Saturday, Peter dressed in a three-piece Italian suit, Koestner in a long black velvet dress. They had dinner at a French restaurant across the street.
He ordered champagne and pressured her into drinking it, so she took two sips to be polite. He also told her that she must have sex with him. Although this comment made Koestner uncomfortable, she assumed he was joking.
After dinner, the two returned to Koestner’s room to dance. By the end of the third song, Peter was attempting to unbutton her dress. She lacked the assertiveness to tell him to stop directly, so she told him to stop in a joking manner.
Peter had removed all of his clothes except his socks and boxers, and he said that he felt hot.
‘I liked him,’ Koestner said. ‘I just didn’t want any of you to forget that part because I think this entire issue would be crystal clear if it wasn’t for [that] part.’
Koestner revealed an uncomfortable expression that caused Peter to console her with a joke. She again tried to turn an uncomfortable situation comical by starting a pillow fight, but it became a wrestling match and ended with Koestner in an awkward position.
‘Peter held my arms by my wrists over my head with only one of his,’ Koestner said. ‘He was kissing me … way too hard. I was starting to realize he was doing his best to get up my dress.’
Koestner did not consider that she was being raped, due to her misconception that ‘rape is when a stranger grabs a girl in the dark in the alley and throws her down.’
Koestner attempted to explain that she was not rejecting him, but was rejecting sex. The two argued and Peter became angrier and louder.
Although Koestner could have told Peter to leave her room, asked other residents for assistance or slept on the couch in the lounge, Koestner thought it would be safer to spend the night in her room than to face the possible outcomes of the alternative actions.
‘I thought he would sleep it off and go home,’ Koestner said.
Around 5 a.m., Peter woke up and wasn’t aware of his surroundings until he caught Koestner’s gaze. He apologized for the previous night. She wanted to believe he was sorry and started to fall asleep. Koestner felt him softly kissing her neck and although she refused him, Peter forced himself on her.
After she reported Peter to authorities, a mediation process resulted in his only punishment