8 episodes

Katie Koestner, who appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine at age 18 as the first to speak out as the victim of ”date” rape, talks with survivors of sexual assault, rape and abuse about what they went through and how it impacted their life afterward. Katie delves into backlash, legal systems, campus reactions, family and friends, mental health, PTSD, substance use, body image, and the journey from hurt to healing and thriving.

Dear Katie: Survivor Stories Katie Koestner

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.0 • 2 Ratings

Katie Koestner, who appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine at age 18 as the first to speak out as the victim of ”date” rape, talks with survivors of sexual assault, rape and abuse about what they went through and how it impacted their life afterward. Katie delves into backlash, legal systems, campus reactions, family and friends, mental health, PTSD, substance use, body image, and the journey from hurt to healing and thriving.

    Bernadoodle in Maples

    Bernadoodle in Maples

    Courtney is a meticulous counter. She counts napkins as she presses them at work. She left a little dot in her journal each day she was assaulted by an abusive boyfriend in her teens - adding up to a total of 27 times. This episode, Katie and Claire speak with a survivor whose partner so crushed her spirit that she lost herself, and how she finally untangled herself from his lies.


    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Tony Zaret
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 44 min
    White Faced Monkey Tattoos

    White Faced Monkey Tattoos

    Barbara was eleven when the sexual abuse began. Her brother was five years older and the golden child. When she was twelve, he raped her. Barbara suffocated the memories, pushed people away, went M.I.A. in order to cope. Nobody knew, not even her husband, until the anxiety attacks became so debilitating that her strong façade shattered. Barb reminds us that we never know someone's story; we can never see who, beneath the surface, is barely holding on. Most of all, we find comfort in knowing we are not alone. 


    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Kelsey Styles
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 34 min
    Expert Episode: Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, Authors of Sexual Citizens

    Expert Episode: Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, Authors of Sexual Citizens

    On our first expert episode, Katie and Claire sit down with Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan to discuss their book Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus. Published in January 2020, Sexual Citizens analyzes why sexual assault is so prevalent on college campuses, and how space and power dynamics influence who has control. 


    Jennifer Hirsch is a professor of Socio-medical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Shamus Khan is a professor of Sociology and American Studies at Princeton University. You can learn more about their individual accolades, as well as their book Sexual Citizens, at sexualcitizens.com.


    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Guests: Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Kelsey Styles
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 45 min
    Eleven Shades of Me

    Eleven Shades of Me

    Severe abuse at a young age can leave a person fragmented, left with different selves to cope with varying emotions and stressors. In this episode, Carrie Ann unpacks her experience living with dissociative identity disorder, including her struggle to find a correct diagnosis. Now, with the help of mental health professionals and a close network of friends, she has found her way to healing.


    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Kelsey Styles
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 35 min
    Cerulean Sky on Canvas

    Cerulean Sky on Canvas

    What was supposed to be a fun day of swimming at her boyfriend's home turned into an ambush and rape in his parents' basement. The assault changed this young teenage girl's life forever: her career aspirations, her dreams, her life trajectory.


    It left such a mark on this artist and poet that 51 years later, she published a new volume of poetry that addressed her trauma, revealing her experience to friends and family for the first time.

    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Kelsey Styles
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 32 min
    Mango Sticky Rice

    Mango Sticky Rice

    Blanca meets a guy at a house party. He's nice enough, but the more she drinks, the more charming he seems. Friends hear about – and see – their hookup, but nobody steps in. The next day, Gossip Central. Blanca is mortified and, worse, memoryless. What does she do now--with the friends who didn't step in when they knew how much she drank? With the secondhand stories?


    How can we learn to make peace with our own narrative?


    Hosts: Katie Koestner and Claire Kaplan
    Producers: Kelsey Styles and Emily Wang
    Editor: Kelsey Styles
    Guest Coordinator: Emily Wang

    • 37 min

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