-37%
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

$28.95 $18.23

(as of 12/03/2015 at 14:38 UTC)

Buy product

SKU: 0385538731 Category:
  • Description
  • Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

From bestselling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana ­— stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape
 
Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, with a highly regarded state university, bucolic surroundings, a lively social scene, and an excellent football team the Grizzlies with a rabid fan base.
 
The Department of Justice investigated 350 sexual assaults reported to the Missoula police between January 2008 and May 2012. Few of these assaults were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical.
 
A DOJ report released in December of 2014 estimates 110,000 women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four are raped each year. Krakauer’s devastating narrative of what happened in Missoula makes clear why rape is so prevalent on American campuses, and why rape victims are so reluctant to report assault.
 
Acquaintance rape is a crime like no other. Unlike burglary or embezzlement or any other felony, the victim often comes under more suspicion than the alleged perpetrator. This is especially true if the victim is sexually active; if she had been drinking prior to the assault — and if the man she accuses plays on a popular sports team. The vanishingly small but highly publicized incidents of false accusations are often used to dismiss her claims in the press. If the case goes to trial, the woman’s entire personal life becomes fair game for defense attorneys.
 
This brutal reality goes a long way towards explaining why acquaintance rape is the most underreported crime in America. In addition to physical trauma, its victims often suffer devastating psychological damage that leads to feelings of shame, emotional paralysis and stigmatization. PTSD rates for rape victims are estimated to be 50%, higher than soldiers returning from war.
 
In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula — the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them.
 
Some of them went to the police. Some declined to go to the police, or to press charges, but sought redress from the university, which has its own, non-criminal judicial process when a student is accused of rape. In two cases the police agreed to press charges and the district attorney agreed to prosecute. One case led to a conviction; one to an acquittal. Those women courageous enough to press charges or to speak publicly about their experiences were attacked in the media, on Grizzly football fan sites, and/or to their faces. The university expelled three of the accused rapists, but one was reinstated by state officials in a secret proceeding. One district attorney testified for an alleged rapist at his university hearing. She later left the prosecutor’s office and successfully defended the Grizzlies’ star quarterback in his rape trial. The horror of being raped, in each woman’s case, was magnified by the mechanics of the justice system and the reaction of the community.
 
Krakauer’s dispassionate, carefully documented account of what these women endured cuts through the abstract ideological debate about campus rape. College-age women are not raped because they are promiscuous, or drunk, or send mixed signals, or feel guilty about casual sex, or seek attention. They are the victims of a terrible crime and deserving of compassion from society and fairness from a justice system that is clearly broken. 

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2015: Toward the end of this powerful, absorbing book, best-selling author Jon Krakauer quotes a jury member as she sums up popular assumptions about sexual assault: “(1) A stranger jumps out from the bushes; (2) There is no (assault) unless the woman puts up a fight, to the death if necessary.” The truth is much different—assaults by acquaintances are by far the most common form of the crime. In Missoula, Krakauer examines one community’s struggle with such accusations, shining a bright light on a problem that frequently goes underreported and is all-too-easy to sweep under the rug. Not only must victims contend with the after-effects of the crime, they must often face doubting police, antagonistic lawyers, and the whims of popular opinion. Some of the reported assaults in Krakauer’s book involved members of the University of Montana’s beloved Grizzly football team. Using facts and documentation balanced by interviews and courtroom drama, he builds a gem of narrative nonfiction that will educate and incite. As the story builds, culminating in two different trials with two different outcomes, readers will find themselves consumed by the factual and emotional complexities of the subject. No page turner this year will be more incendiary than Missoula. – Chris Schluep

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.


Be the first to review “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town”