In Chapter 4, Krakauer shows how Allison struggles to regain control of her life despite the pain and betrayal she feels. Instead of returning to school in Oregon, she stays in the community where she grew up. Rape victims are often left with a variety of bad options for how to move on after being raped. Allison’s decision is positive for her in that she can get support from her close friends and family, but it also means that she remains near Beau’s social circles. In an effort to move on with her life, she tries to block out and ignore her feelings, but, at the same time, she is constantly reminded of her rape. For Allison, the fact that people in Missoula talk and behave as if she and Beau had consensual sex is more proof that Beau has not taken ownership of his crime. After Allison encounters Beau at the bar, it is clear to her that her compassion failed. Beau feels no remorse and continues to be a threat to other women in the community.
For rape victims who decide to seek justice, it is seldom clear how best to proceed. Unlike many young women, Allison knows and has worked closely with someone in the police department, Detective Baker. In some ways Allison’s position, like her decision to report her rape to the police, is exceptional. If Allison did not have a police connection, she may not have begun the correspondence with Detective Baker that eventually led to her reporting Beau’s crime. Allison’s behavior and her struggle to reach a decision show the difficulty and complexity of the trauma rape victims endure. Allison lives for fifteen months in pain, anxiety, and obsession before she is able to decide that reporting Beau to the police is the right thing to do. Her rape, meanwhile, took place in a matter of minutes.