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Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

Author: Krakauer, Jon

Publication Date: 01/12/2016

Format: Paperback

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. For A Woman In This Situation, The Pain Of Being Forced Into Sex Against Her Will Is Only The Beginning Of Her Ordeal. If She Decides To Go To The Police, Undertrained Officers Sometimes Ask If She Has A Boyfriend, Implying That She Is Covering Up Infidelity. She Is Told Rape Is Extremely Difficult To Prove And Repeatedly Asked If She Really Wants To Press Charges. If She Does Want To Charge Her Assailant, District Attorneys Frequently Refuse To Prosecute. If The Assailant Is Indicted, Even Though A Victim's Name Is Supposed To Be Kept Confidential, Rumors Start In The Community And On Social Media, Labeling Her A Slut, Unbalanced, An Attention-seeker. The Vanishingly Small But Highly Publicized Incidents Of False Accusations Are Used To Dismiss Her Claims In The Press. If The Case Goes To Trial, The Woman's Entire Personal Life Often Becomes Fair Game For The Defense Attorneys. This Brutal Reality Goes A Long Way Toward Enplaning 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. In Missoula, Krakauer Chronicles The 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.