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This Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 photo shows Kristina Ponischil on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, where she now works as a researcher. For months after Ponischil was raped at a party in her off-campus apartment, her life at Western Washington University was hell. Police wouldn’t act. But if the criminal justice system let Ponischil down, Western Washington did not, offering her the support she needed and suspending her assailant, removing him from campus until she graduated in 2009.

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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. But if the criminal justice system let Ponischil down, Western Washington did not.

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