Season 2, Episode 17: I Thought He was My Friend - "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town" by Jon Krakauer
It’s hard to get good statistics on sexual assault. Some women don’t want to come forward to report an assault, and others – because they may have been intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated – may not even know that they were assaulted. This week’s book looks at cases of sexual assault at the University of Montana and how police handled rape cases there from 2010 to 2012. And I want to be very clear from the beginning of today’s episode: victims of sexual assault are never to blame for what happened to them. It’s not because of what they wore, the fact that they were drinking, or where they decided to go. It’s because a man decided that he did not need their consent to do what he wanted to do. Of course, it’s not only athletes that often seem to get preferential treatment. Anyone who we hold up as a role model can too easily be given a pass if an accusation is made against them. Even leaders in the church.
It’s an unlovely truth that often, action isn’t taken until media attention forces us to really look at situations closely, knowing that others are evaluating how things are being handled. My guest this week, Yvette Babs Walker, is a former reporter, editor, and news director, current dean of students at a large university, speaker, and host of the Positively Joy podcast. You’ll want to hear her perspective on violent crime, preferential treatment of some types of offenders, and how any one of us can step up to make a difference.
Check out these amazing resources:
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.