Posted by: cosmicgarden | May 22, 2012

Missoula Rape Problems

Update 12/09/12 
link to:  Schrodinger’s Rapist  (sadly the men who need to read this won’t)


Update 10/08/12

4&20 Blackbirds is the only Montana blog I keep up with always. Thanks to them for this photo of the offending stencil and for pointing to and commenting on the article by Dan Brooks in the Missoula Independent.

 “The last week has made it hard not to think that law enforcement learned the wrong lesson. They devoted substantial resources to stopping the problem of someone pointing out the problem of rape, and the courts made sure the man they arrested didn’t get off easy. Meanwhile, county attorney Fred Van Valkenberg has refused to cooperate with the DOJ investigation, which he says is political.”

Lots of defensiveness by people who think the Jezebel article was slanted. Not in my experience. Talk to people. Most of them, well over half, will say something about how these girls really deserved to be raped. One only has to read the comments on any of the local newspaper articles about these crimes to see there is a culture of rape acceptance and victim-blaming in this area, not limited to Missoula or the UM campus. In particular I was disappointed with the responses put out by the Associated Students of UM executives Jen Gursky, Jeffrey Edmunds, and Luke Sims. Apologetics and minimizing, and standing up for the administration who acted shamefully and continues the fiasco — I would have hoped for better from those who are supposed to be representing the students, for them to be more aware and frankly to have more guts. Their response is what I call “sucking up.”

"So, yeah, it’s just the elevation," my new friend continues to yell into my ear. "The girls here drink too much, and the elevation fucks with their heads. So then they say they got roofied." He furrows his bushy eyebrows and raises his beer in the direction of the dance floor, which is teeming with cloudy-eyed kids gyrating to Taio Cruz. "People think we’re the ‘rape capital’ of America now, but we’re not. Missoula is just like any other college town."

Maybe. Maybe not.

On May 1st, the Federal Department of Justice launched an investigation into possible gender bias in the handling of sexual assault allegations by the Missoula Police Department, the County Attorney’s Office, and the University of Montana. Officials say there have been at least 80 reported rapes in Missoula over the last three years, with 11 of the sexual assaults reported over the last 18 months involving UM students, including an alleged gang-rape by members of the Grizzlies’ lucrative Division I football team.

At this point, if every parent in this state – if every parent of every out of state child – and if every alumni from everywhere hasn’t contacted the Montana Board of Regents to direct them to take a comprehensive investigation and correction of this malfeasance, then they should be now.

FOIA Request by Missoulian Exposes the CYA Boys Club From Mayor to U. Montana « 4&20 blackbirds

I mean, they freaking contacted the “alleged” rapist before contacting the police, thereby assisting him in evading arrest—he fucking raped 2 girls and they helped him get out of the country??? No. No way. The dean contacts the guy and says oh BTW we heard you raped this chick. Then a few days later, “hey you raped another girl?” And never DID call the police about it!  What does it fucking take for them to notify the police? A dead body??? And still defending their actions, long after the guy left the country:

University of Montana Dean of Students Charles Couture did the right thing when he notified a Saudi exchange student – who then left the country – that he’d been accused of rape, UM President Royce Engstrom said Tuesday.

How nice Couture has retired now, I hope everyone else is fired. But they won’t be.

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