Kara Robinson’s Movie: ‘The Girl Who Escaped,’ promotes hope through trauma


Graphic by Alex Gaines ’25

The Girl Who Escaped premiered on Lifetime TV on Feb. 11., featuring Katie Douglass playing the role of Kara Robinson.

On a warm, breezy afternoon, June 24, 2002, a 15-year-old girl was watering her friends’ plants in the front yard of her house in Columbia, South Carolina, standing in the sun enjoying the start of summer. The next second, the hose was running on the green grass, but the girl was nowhere to be seen.

This girl is Kara Robinson, who was abducted by Richard Evonitz from her friend’s house. He held a gun to her head, forcing her to get into his car, and drove her to his apartment. 

Usually, when you hear a story like this, it ends with a horrifying and unfortunate news report, but not for Robinson, who was smart enough to escape her abductor. She now persists in ensuring cases like her own do not repeat by being a dedicated victims’ advocate. 

“The Girl Who Escaped” premiered Feb 1. on Lifetime TV featuring Kara Robinson. The film is a dramatized version of events that took place but encapsulates her real story. 

After being taken, Robinson stayed in Evonitz’s apartment for approximately 18 hours before using her teeth to break the handcuff she was trapped in and running for her life.

Usually, when you hear a story like this, it ends with a horrifying and unfortunate news report, but not for Robinson, who was smart enough to escape her abductor.”

— Audrey Curtis ’25

During her 18 hours of captivity, Robinson, though panicked with fear, managed to overcome her terror and collect information about where she was, and who this man was, in hopes that if she were to escape, she would be able to destroy his life. And she did. 

Her work collecting information while she was captive led to assisting the state in finding her abductor: Richard Evonitz was connected to multiple other cases and jailed with the help of Robinson.

This movie exceeded my expectations of any Lifetime movie in the past, as the story is compelling and fascinating, with realistic, convincing acting. It portrayed a serious topic in an honorable way to spread awareness about Robinson’s story. The film features Katie Douglass playing the role of Robinson, who was in Netflix’s “Ginny and Georgia,” along with another kidnapping story, “Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey.”

Douglass’s portrayal of Robinson was spot-on. Her youthful acting made the trauma of Robinson’s story told from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl, making it resonate with me.

“The Girl Who Escaped” offers an optimistic perspective on horrible circumstances and gives the audience an understanding of how to remain well-witted, even when all senses feel as though they are shutting down. By telling her story of this event, she is able to break stigmas and transport messages to all viewers that there is hope. 

Robinson emphasizes the message that it doesn’t matter what hand you get dealt, but how you play your cards. When looking back to June of 2002, Robinson played her cards right.