On Campus, Debate Over Civil Rights And Rape

Monday, April 23, 2012

For months after Kristina Ponischil was raped at a party in her off-campus apartment, her life at Western Washington University was hell.

Police wouldn’t act, as often happens in college towns with “he said, she said’’ accounts of alcohol-influenced student encounters behind closed doors. Despite a restraining order, she kept running into her assailant on campus, prompting panic attacks.

Once, the man who’d raped her brushed up against Ponischil in the bookstore, then smirked.

“I was just constantly worried that I would run into him again,’’ Ponischil said.

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