CDC study: 22% of Minnesota women have been raped


Talk about sobering numbers. Rupa Shenoy’s MPR story on new statistics out of the Centers for Disease Control says: “Nearly half of Minnesota women experience some kind of sexual abuse, says a new national survey by the Centers for Disease Control. About 22 percent of Minnesota women have been raped in their lifetime, and more than 48 percent of Minnesota women have experienced sexual violence other than rape, the CDC estimates. About a third of Minnesota women have had partners who stalked them or were physically violent, also according to the report. The study also estimated about 24 percent of men in Minnesota have had partners who were sexually violent.”

OK. Place your bets. Who wins in a showdown among Zygi Wilf, the mayor (with an assist from the Strib) and aligned downtown Minneapolis business interests? Sasha Aslainian at MPR writes: “A new vision for downtown in 2025 unveiled by the Minneapolis Downtown Council Wednesday includes doubling the number of urban residents, increasing green spaces and mass transit, and a sports district that includes a new Vikings Stadium.The council wants a critical mass of sports venues, entertainment and hospitality built around the transportation hub created to serve Target Field. Council president and CEO Sam Grabarski said two spots on the west end of downtown, near the Farmer’s Market and Target Field would work well for a new Vikings stadium. ‘There’s a great opportunity there,’ he said. The Council’s Viking’s stadium plan is at odds with that of Mayor R.T. Rybak who favors using the Metrodome site. Grabarski said the Council is open to option but prefers using that site for residential development.”

Brian Johnson’s story at Finance & Commerce adds: “During a Wednesday press event, most of the focus was on conceptual plans, not budgets or funding sources. But it’s safe to say that the plans would require a generous mix of private and public funding, including city, county, state and perhaps some federal money. Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, said it’s great that community leaders are getting together to talk about redevelopment and promote their community — as long as taxpayers aren’t forced to subsidize private business. If the plan is to ‘pick the taxpayers’ pockets to subsidize the Vikings and other businesses to make it happen, that is where the disconnect comes,’ Krinkie said. ‘There is no such thing as a public-private partnership where the public wins.’ ”

Here, Doug Grow says: “It’s easy to wonder if these plans don’t simply end up in some closet gathering dust, after they’ve been unveiled. ‘They will never be followed verbatim,’ said [Hennepin County Commissioner Mike] Opat of these futuristic plans. ‘But they let you dream. Especially now, there’s not a lot of dreaming going on.’ Grabarski pointed out that the Downtown Council has existed since the mid-1950s and came up with its first long-range plan in 1959. That initial plan, he said, led to the creation of the Nicollet Mall and the once wow-inducing skyway system. The most recent 15-year plan, he said, included light rail, a new library and a new baseball park. All of those things have come to pass.” Infrastructure, a full, interconnected “sports entertainment complex” and big-biz political muscle? Trifecta for the west side.

In Duluth, Peter Passi of the News Tribune reports that an experienced developer is considering taking on a restoration of the grand old NorShor Theater: “George Sherman, founder of Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates, has been in discussions with the Duluth Economic Development Authority about possibly acquiring and redeveloping the historic theater in Duluth’s Old Downtown. Brian Hanson, the authority’s executive director, said he hopes to have a memorandum of understanding ready for consideration in January. A more detailed development agreement with Sherman Associates would be the next step. Hanson characterized the developer as ‘very serious’ about tackling the project. ‘They’ve already made a huge investment in our Old Downtown, and they want to know it’s going to continue to grow and prosper,’ he said. Sherman opened the $40 million Sheraton Hotel in 2007 and purchased the neighboring Greysolon Plaza building.”   

Frederick Melo at the PiPress reports that the City Council knocked another half a percentage point off the property tax bill Mayor Chris Coleman offered up last week: “The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday wrangled cash out of nooks and crannies in the city budget to soften the blow on taxpayers and hold the increase in the 2012 property tax levy to 4.98 percent. Mayor Chris Coleman this week proposed a 5.5 percent increase, down from a planned 6.5 percent in August. … The council funneled another $300,000 toward general spending from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, effectively reimbursing the general fund for HRA work hours performed by council members and their secretaries. Other funds came from bond refinancing and greater-than-anticipated revenue from Tax Increment Financing districts, which are business districts that are allowed to use their own property taxes toward development and improvements. The new property tax levy will be $99.3 million — about $4.7 million, or 4.98 percent — larger than the current year.” That sound you hear? Joe Soucheray moving to Coates.

It was a fungus … not a miracle. Nick Ferraro of the PiPress reports: “A fungus — not a miracle — caused a Communion host to turn red this summer at a South St. Paul church, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Wednesday. The archdiocese began an ‘exhaustive biological analysis’ of the consecrated host after it was found on the floor of St. Augustine Church after Holy Communion. The Rev. John Echert reported to archdiocese officials that it turned ‘blood red’ after being placed in a cup filled with water. In addition, it did not fully dissolve over several weeks. ‘It appeared to be like the blood red of tissue,’ Echert told the Pioneer Press in July. ‘If I had not known what it was, I would have thought that there was maybe a small, bloody piece of tissue. It was striking enough that there was no way I could have disposed of the remains of the host at that time with good conscience.’ The wafer caused Catholics to speculate on Internet blogs and led the archdiocese to turn it over to an independent scientific laboratory for examination.”

The Tom Emmer v. Hamline controversy churns up an opinion from Hamline senior Natalie Cook on the MPIRG website: “The fact of the matter is that Tom Emmer would bring very little to Hamline’s robust academic community in terms of scholarly work or expertise. Instead, he would bring a lot of liability. … For a small, private college in St. Paul, Minnesota, looking to attract a diversity of students from across the country, hiring a controversial political figure is probably not the best way to attract potential students. While Emmer was candidate for governor his budget plan included reducing higher education funding. Many of our students, including myself, receive state grants which would have been at risk of greater funding cuts leaving students to bear a larger financial burden. Regardless of a professor’s political beliefs it is important that they value higher education; this includes understanding the importance of adequate funding for institutions and students. … Emmer has set himself up as a lightning rod for hot button social issues and is a mouthpiece for social conservatives. That’s fine for talk radio and cable news networks, but there is no place for that in an academic community.”

Frankly, I was wondering what the state’s top conservative bloggers thought of the Emmer dust-up … when I came across this. From “Nihilist in Golf Pants”, aka one of the “Fraters Libertas”: “I disagree with the characterization of a weak Republican field. In fact, I would suggest that this Republican field is the strongest slate of candidates the party has seen since 1980. Each candidate brings unique qualifications to the table. Let’s take a quick look: Speaker Newt Gingrich was the architect of a Republican revolution that significantly changed the course of American government. Under his strategy, the party took over Congress after decades as a minority party. Then under his leadership, the federal budget was balanced, welfare was reformed, and America entered into an era of growth and prosperity. If Gingrich doesn’t capture the party’s nomination, then the nominee will likely be one of two governors. Governor Mitt Romney is a Republican who won election in a deep blue state, proving that he can garner the votes of moderates and some liberals. Governor Rick Perry is entirely different, the chief executive of a deep red state that has had been strong on job creation and economic growth. Additionally, Romney boasts extensive private sector experience. Congressman Ron Paul offers Republicans a real libertarian choice that has been missing from many presidential campaigns. Love him or hate him, one must acknowledge that Paul represents an ideology that holds influence over significant thinking on the right side of the political spectrum. While Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are not likely to win the Republican nomination for President, they represent powerful factions of the Republican party whose ideas merit consideration. … In summary, the field is deep and talented. I believe that any of the losers of the nomination would make excellent choices for cabinet posts, and I didn’t even mention erstwhile candidates Herman Cain or Tim Pawlenty. So why do so many Americans that aren’t liberal partisans long for the next Reagan instead of embracing the riches before them?” How is it that I’ve forgotten to thank Speaker Gingrich for the economic boom of the 1990s?

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Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by John Olson on 12/15/2011 - 07:05 am.

    //OK. Place your bets. Who wins in a showdown among Zygi Wilf, the mayor (with an assist from the Strib) and aligned downtown Minneapolis business interests?

    I’m all in on Option 4: Nobody.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/15/2011 - 08:22 am.

    37% of all statistics are bogus.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/15/2011 - 09:03 am.

    God designed the sexual drive and a wide variety of means to express it into humans for God’s own good purposes.

    I’m highly doubtful those purposes were that we should make the expression of those desires so secretive and so shameful that the pain of the emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical damage we do to each other far outweigh the blessings God intended us to enjoy as the result of sex.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our society came to regard sex and sexual activity as a natural, normal part of life, and taught it’s citizens how sexual activity can both enhance and trouble their lives and thus must be treated with respect as must each sexual partners?

    Instead of that, what we have, currently, is the psychologically-dysfunctional approach of regarding sexual activity as the sole determinant of purity and worthiness, especially in adolescents (anything less than complete purity being regarded as irredeemably shameful).

    In place of healthy, life-enhancing, spirit-enhancing and spiritually-responsive attitudes toward sex,…

    we have large numbers of “conservatives” (and some moderates) seeing the inevitable hormone-driven development of feelings of sexual attraction and desire not as normal and healthy but as something shameful to be hidden, never talked about, except when used abusively by “conservative” churches and politicians to threaten their followers that they will burn in hell,…

    all done in order to (unconsciously) express the delusional fears of the leaders of those churches that without spiritual and psychological, if not physical, chastity belts applied to all people, society will deteriorate into a massive orgy in which continuous sex overtakes all other human activities and concerns (thereby revealing their own deeply repressed desires for what they have been taught to regard as the ultimate forbidden fruit – unlimited sex without consequences).

    It is this latter approach to sex, wherein the vast majority of sexual expression is shameful and must be hidden, that is the underlying cause of sexual violence of which, it’s important to note, both women AND men are victims.

    If we would reduce such violence, it’s long past time to take sex, itself, out of the closet and learn to use it for it’s intended purpose – to bless each other and ourselves and bring joy to the God who created sex in the first place.

  4. Submitted by Cecil North on 12/15/2011 - 09:18 am.

    Thanks, Dennis, for that typically insightful and compassionate observation. I’ll bet you know at least 10 women. Doesn’t it bother you in the least to think that two or three of them are likely the victims of rape, and even more are victims of sexual violence? Is that what it means to be a “conservative”?

    These statistics are truly horrifying, and bear out what we’ve been hearing for years, not just from pundits and the media, but from carefully-conducted studies, and from the personal experiences of friends, family and co-workers. It is beyond comprehension that some would compound the tragedy of this violence by forcing its victims to carry a rapist’s child to term.

  5. Submitted by Lauren Maker on 12/15/2011 - 09:43 am.

    Greg– why I don’t disagree with your comments as the the necessity of getting the shame out of sex–it is not the reason for sexual violence, regardless of the gender of the victim. Rape and sexual violence are all about power and control, not sex–sex is merely the weapon of choice.

  6. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/15/2011 - 09:46 am.

    “…I believe that any of the losers of the nomination would make excellent choices for cabinet posts, and I didn’t even mention erstwhile candidates Herman Cain or Tim Pawlenty.”

    Let’s see… Tim Pawlenty as Secretary of the Treasury, Rick Santorum as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Herman Cain as U.S. Representative to the United Nations, and Michele Bachmann as Secretary of State.

    Now that’s a confidence-inspiring lineup!

  7. Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 12/15/2011 - 10:05 am.

    @#2. “37% of all statistics are bogus.”

    Classic. A true conservative response. Says nothing (neither confirm, nor deny), but implies that information is wrong. Apparently conservatives need to deny or question uncomfortable information. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

  8. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/15/2011 - 10:07 am.

    As always, the devil is in the details. For the purposes of the CDC study, rape was defined as “including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.” I’ve yet to find a definition of “alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration”.

    You can download the entire report here:

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/15/2011 - 10:14 am.

    Say Bri? Let’s do a little experiment, right here on The Glean, M’k?

    “PZ Myers has set himself up as a lightning rod for hot button social issues and is a mouthpiece for militant athiests. That’s fine for talk radio and cable news networks, but there is no place for that in an academic community.”

    Wow! That fits so nicely it’s scarey….someone should give Myers the heads up.

  10. Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 12/15/2011 - 02:20 pm.

    Re: #9, PZ Meyers teaches at a university because he is qualified to do so, regardless of his opinions and activities outside of the classroom.

  11. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/15/2011 - 03:09 pm.

    As proven by weasel news, several members of congress, and Rubaugh: 100% of “conservative” “statistics” are bogus.

    Regarding abusively “powerful” men: The need that many men have to express power in abusive ways is NOT a natural product of being a member of the male half of the species; not the result of testosterone poisoning, but the result of the programming that has been pounded into them (verbally or physically) regarding what is required for them to be acceptably masculine (not “wimps” or worse).

    It’s easy (and very convenient) to dismiss such men as subhuman if we don’t go to the trouble of understanding the roots of their motivations and simply dismiss the average “straight” man as inherently and instinctively a creep or a cretin.

    In reality the NEED for control and even violence on the part of men in sexual situations very often (almost always) arises out of sexual repression coupled with fears of sexual inadequacy and a learned conviction that sexual prowess is the be-all and end-all of acceptable masculinity

    i.e. the FEAR of being shamed as not properly masculine because one is not sexually successful is almost always the underlying motivation.

    On the other hand, it’s often the case that women who are sexually violent are responding (inappropriately, I might add) to the physical or verbal sexual violence that has been done to them.

    In such cases, the oppressed becomes the oppressor (which is NEVER a useful approach).

    Assisting men who have had such dysfunctional masculinity pounded into them to deal with their own internal motivations very often necessitates their separation from society,…

    but if we believe that resolving their tendency toward violence can be accomplished through therapy which is little more than an opportunity for therapists to grind the axes of their own anger by forcing such men to cower and feel powerless and admit that they are, in essence, scum is highly unlikely to be successful.

    Meanwhile, it is not necessary for those who have been the victims of sexual (or other kinds of) violence, whether male or female, to allow the ways those experiences programmed dysfunctional responses into them and locked away healthy aspects of their personalities to continue to live with those effects. Appropriate therapy can deprogram those responses and restore victims to much healthier, happier living.

  12. Submitted by r batnes on 12/15/2011 - 03:30 pm.

    (#2) On December 15, 2011, Dennis Tester says:
    37% of all statistics are bogus.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I’ll look forward to pointing out your statistical disclaimer whenever you trot them out to defend your twisted political ideology.

  13. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/15/2011 - 03:57 pm.

    #11 Greg, you fill your every comment with diagnosis of mental instabilities of one sort or another, which are always somehow related to political viewpoints.

    Now that is a connection I haven’t been made aware of anywhere else, and I admit to being fascinated.

    Can you tell us a little about your medical training and how you formulated your creative method of diagnosis?

  14. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/15/2011 - 08:21 pm.

    No one needs special credentialing to state a common sense understanding about how the basic working of the human psyche flavors political opinions,…

    nor how people suffering from psychological dysfunctions maintain a perspective of the world built not on facts and evidence but rather, built to make the world fit the needs and demands of their own dysfunctions,…

    not to mention how such dysfunctional people respond with anger and rage when anyone tries point out how misinformed, misguided, and out of touch with reality their perspectives are.

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