Katie Koestner was on the cover of TIME Magazine at age 18 as the first woman to publicly speak out about being a victim of date rape. She addresses sexual assault, respect, consent, healthy decision-making, and alcohol, while inspiring students to become active bystanders in their community. To both educate and inspire at the same time can be a challenge, but this is exactly what Katie accomplishes with her program.
Katie shares her story as she weaves in key issues on sexual assault to meet the guidelines of VAWA and Title IX and comply with federal mandates. Katie shares a message of courage through her personal story that goes well beyond the hour of her program. Her audiences remember her words, her strength and her conviction. They incorporate her examples into their next steps in life. Katie’s program provides just the right blend of facts, statistics, realism and thought-provoking challenges around relationships, respect, alcohol and decision-making.
Her engaging speaking style lays the groundwork for proactive, long-term attitude and behavior change. Katie’s quick wit, humor and captivating delivery keep her audiences glued to every word. The cultural impact of her story is still being felt today by women who choose to speak out about their assaults and in the fact that date rape is a more known about, and socially recognized form of sexual violence. This is because Katie spoke out publicly in 1990 about her experience, carving the path for other women to do the same even when society wasn’t sure if “date rape” was “rape.”
Katie Koestner is one of the leading activists educating about sexual assault, especially on college campuses. Koestner has lectured at over 5000 colleges and high schools in North America. She has shared her personal story with over 5 million students. She has appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine, on “Oprah,” CNN, MTV, MSNBC, “NBC Nightly News,” “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live,” “Later Today,” “Entertainment Tonight,” is the subject of an HBO movie, as well as dozens of other national news programs.
The US Ambassador to India has invited Koestner to lecture in India to raise awareness about violence against women, and the US Department of Defense has had Koestner train their top 200 officers. Katie assisted the US Department of Education in developing and providing programs to women in high-risk communities in India and China. The US Department of State chose Katie to work with a delegation of Chinese diplomats at the United Nations on strategies to reduce sexual and relationship violence.
Katie created the Take Back The Night Foundation in 2009 and has expanded the organization to reach 1000+ events in 40+ countries around the globe in the effort to end sexual violence. The Girl Scouts of America selected Katie, Katie Couric and a handful of others as honored women to present for their 100th Anniversary Celebration.
She was a contributor and lobbyist for the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights, 1992 and the Student Right to Know and Security Act, 1992. Both of these have been instrumental in shaping the sexual assault and Title IX policies many colleges and universities follow today.