Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
The Department of Justice reports that 110,000 young women in the U.S. are raped yearly. At least 80% of those assaulted don't report it. And odds are that rape is committed by a serial offender. Why? Jon Krakauer (Under the Banner of Heaven; Into Thin Air) explores the reasons in Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, with searing stories of blatant injustice.
Missoula's "greatest source of civic pride" is the University of Montana Grizzlies, whose football players display a sense of entitlement fostered by both school and town. Many in the college milieu view athletes accused of rape as beleaguered victims; students and non-student supporters vilify accusers. One young woman, raped by four players, said, "Mom, they're football players and nobody's gonna listen to me." The police chief discounted her claim of never giving consent since she had been intermittently semi-conscious, not unconscious.
A 2014 Department of Justice report about Missoula was damning; since the report, changes have been made, but the Griz football team's "pernicious atmosphere of entitlement" is still a problem, mirroring other colleges' troubles. Missoula is a passionate, maddening indictment of campus rape in one town that is emblematic of many. --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers