Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Horrors In The Hallways

Welcome back friends! For the past few weeks I have been reading the book Missoula, which is an issue based book that focuses on rape in a college town and contains very detailed descriptions of rape and how it can dramatically change someones life. Missoula by: Jon Krakauer takes place in Missoula Montana at Missoula college; home of the proud Grizzlies and their devoted fanbase which they call "Griz nation". Missoula is like any other college town in our country, everyone worships the football team, everyone party's, and way to many people are getting raped. Krakauer is a journalist who investigated a series of rapes that occurred in this specific college town over a four year period. In this book Krakauer documents the experiences five victims and how little the justice system did for them. Personally I found this book very hard to read because of content and the use of law and medical jargon.

 A huge part of the book is about a girl named Allison Huguet who was raped by Beau Donaldson, her childhood best friend who was also a fullback and a linebacker for the "Griz".  On September 24, 2010 Huguet was on a break from college and was staying at her mothers home in Missoula, later that night Allison was invited to a party with a bunch of her childhood friends including Donaldson. After drinking a little to much she decided she would spend the night on her friends couch rather then driving home. About two hours later she was awoken to find  Beau Donaldson raping her. After, Huguet was changed forever. Allison confided in a friend named Keely Williams who encouraged Allison to help herself heal and find justice but Allison said  "' I didn't feel like I was strong enough to go to the police"' ( Krakauer 24). Unfortunately this became a reoccurring event through each girls story in the book. The girls were afraid to go to to the police because they were scared that they wouldn't believe their accusations or worse, believe that it was their fault. On January 11, 2013 unlike many similar cases Allison's went to court to sentence Beau Donaldson. During the hearing Donaldson's lawyer Milton Datsopoulos urged the court to give Donaldson a shorter and "easier" sentence on account of Beau's "good character". This upset Allison's family because they believed the torture their daughter endured during and after the assault should be inflicted on Donaldson so he could see what he really did to Allison and her family. Allison's mom explained the pain Donaldson put Allison through in the court room "Allison 'Wasn't the same person anymore,' Beth continued. 'There was no more smiles. There was no more laughs'" ( Krakauer 219). Unfortunately this wasn't the only survivor who felt they weren't the same anymore. The survivors all felt different and more anxious and fearful of everyone and everything. Krakauer does a great job of telling this girls stories in a way that brings light to the issues our world faces when it comes to sexual assault.

Sadly in this day in age its hard to ignore the devastating statistics of sexual assault. On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 and older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the united states. Sadly if that number isn't shocking enough that doesn't even count the children below age 12 experiencing the same horrors. Fortunately we have people in this world who look at these numbers and do something about it. Alyssa Milano an actress and activist, has decided to take as stand and encourage victims of sexual assault to speak out. On October 21 Milano tweeted to her 3.2 million followers saying "if you have been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet". Although the movement was originally created 10 years ago when activist Tarana Burke wanted to give a voice to the the victims, Milano definitely put it in the spotlight. The reason I became interested in the book Missoula is because I came across a video I saw on the popular YouTube page and media group, BuzzFeed where women were telling their #Metoo stories Buzzfeed video. It was gut wrenching to listen to these women tell their stories and see their faces and the emotions that were evoked from sharing their experiences which are similar the ones in the book. From the video and the book I learned that all women who have experienced sexual assault have a unique story and their own way of coping, and that the excuse that they were "dressed to revealing" is not only wrong but incredibly insulting to all women.

Krakauer, Jon. Missoula: Rape And The Justice System In A College Town. Anchor Books, 2015. Print.

"rape Statistics." RAINN. Accessed: 15 Nov 2017

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