“Rape is viewed as something that “destroys lives,” not because its survivors must deal with the aftermath of mental and physical violation, but because high school rapists might not get college opportunities.”
In 2012, Jezebel.com broke a story asking a question: is Missoula, Montana America’s rape capital? The story made it clear that while Missoula had drawn the eye of Federal investigators, the reality was that the city was, if anything, average when it came to its response to issues surrounding rape and sexual assault.[sc:shn-ad2]
If only “average,” in this case, meant “better than awful.”
Three years later, John Krakauer – best known for his book, Into Thin Air – published Missoula: Rape and Injustice in a College Town. The book faced all kinds of criticism, perhaps the most benign of which questioned whether the Missoula “justice” system was at all exceptional in its treatment of rape survivors. Sadly, the answer to that question is probably no. At best, Krakauer’s words to the Associated Press state,
“It seemed like a perfect example of a problem that exists nationwide.”
A friend from Missoula started reading the book on her commute, and only on her commute. She was, first and foremost, hesitant to read it in more than small sips: Krakauer’s text is by all accounts harrowing and gut-wrenching in its intensity. More than that, though, she was curious how the people around her might react in a town that’s been polarized by the spotlight being shone on its failings.