How serious? "Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average—a ranking it has held for many years."
How serious? "The rate of Alaskan women being killed by a partner is 1.5 times the national average. … Alaska has 6 times the national average of reported child sexual assault."
How serious? "74.7% [of Alaskans] have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault."
How serious? So serious that the state has had to pass a specific law to require that "all assaults involving strangulation or suffocation will be prosecuted as felonies" because many cases were being tried as misdemeanors. Ya know, because strangulation is, like, so run of the mill shit.
So why is it, do you think, that "Despite the governor's pro-family image, public safety experts and advocates for women and children struggled when asked to explain how Palin's leadership has helped address the crisis" and why is it that "an ambitious, multi-million-dollar initiative to seriously tackle sex crimes in the state" was put on hold in July by Palin's office?
It all leads back to Troopergate. Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was the chief proponent and champion of the initiative—and, within days of the project being shelved, he was fired after declining to re-open an old investigation against State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was at the time immersed in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister Molly McCann.
Now let's see if we can wrap our heads around this expansive irony: Palin punished Monegan by firing him and tanking his anti-sex crime and violence initiative because he refused to re-open an investigation of a man alleged to be a threat to her own sister.
The status of the plan, which would have "fast-tracked" sex crime cases via a dedicated group that included specially-trained investigators, judges and prosecutors, is unknown. "I'd ask the governor," said one official with knowledge of the plan. Numerous inquiries to Palin's campaign spokeswoman went unreturned.Of course they did.