Sexual Assault, Consent & Harrassment
What is the difference between offering personalized attention vs. boundary-crossing, sexual misconduct, and harassment? How drunk is too drunk to give consent? How accurate is your perception of how others view your actions and communications, both in-person and online?
COS programs unleash minds and impact attitudes with powerful personal stories, bystander challenges, and clear definitions of complex policies. We speak in front of 4000 incoming students at colleges, high school seniors before prom, military bases with enlisted and senior officers, and parents looking for more positive dialogue with their kids. Grapple with your perceptions, assumptions, and sensitivities through a series of participatory case studies.
- The characteristics of respectful, healthy relationships.
- The legal liability and potential scrutiny of crossing intimate boundaries.
- The difference between harassment vs. flirting and coercion vs. seduction.
- How to clearly communicate with a partner about expectations and boundaries.
- How to intervene and be more proactive in social settings with upstander intervention skills.
- Resources to help someone who has been sexually assaulted or harassed.
“Never in twenty-eight-and-a-half years of assemblies have I seen any speaker, or any performance hold the kids’ attention in the way Katie did. I was sitting among the students, and sometimes when Katie was talking, I had to look away because of the intensity of what she described. When I did, I notice the rapt faces around me. The kids did not take their eyes off her. The entire theatre was so quiet that twice I heard a stomach growl just behind me. Normally a growling stomach elicits at least a small giggle, except during a final exam, and sometimes even then, but I did not hear a peep from anyone. Everyone listened to every powerful word.
Afterwards my boys were especially complimentary, saying they had expected to hear at least a little bit of male bashing, but two pointed to specific details Katie provided that showed how much she appreciates the men who helped and understood the horror of her entire experience. Two days later, kids are still talking about what Katie had to say. I wish every high school and college student could hear that talk.”
“Katie Koestner’s presentation is the start of a critical conversation for our young men. Many of them have not truly reflected on the type of decision making that they will face in college or the specific pressures and influences that impact decision making in the college context. Katie allows them to see a glimpse of the nightmare that results from a specific incident of rape. She then allows the students to consider that they will likely face a similar circumstance and need to be prepared. I also find it helpful to invite teachers of these students to the presentation so that they can continue the conversation in their classrooms or with their teams. Students benefit when this type of training and consideration is integrated into their learning and when they hear it from multiple sources.”
“I was a student at your presentation today at Harvard-Westlake, and I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story. This year I began working with a program whose goal is to reduce stigma around sexual violence in teens and to promote the discussion of these topics in our lives. Although I have had education and training in this topic, I have had trouble finding ways to connect peers to this issue’s discussion.
Hearing your story gave shed a new, yet needed light on this topic. I walked out of your presentation truly changed by your words, and I cannot tell you how many of my peers agreed. I have truly never seen a time when every student was engaged in a speaker until this point. I know you probably get messages like this all the time, but I just wanted to thank you for your time, and your story. You truly are the best speaker I have ever heard, and I can tell you right now, your words and story helped a few hundred minds truly think about an important social issue in our society, so to that I truly thank you.”