- Kelsey Hawes
Organizers of a rally planned for Friday, June 3 at the Idaho Statehouse want to have a very public conversation about an very private, albeit difficult topic.
Dubbed "This too is Idaho" and set for 12:30 p.m., the gathering is intended to bring the multi-layered issues of domestic and sexual violence into the open and push back against stereotypes.
“You should expect people coming [to the rally] to tell a different story of Idaho,” said Kelly Miller, executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. “There is danger in that single story the media has portrayed of Idaho being a place of hate. To individuals in Idaho that may be experiencing that oppression, I want them to know there are other people in the state that see them as human beings.”
Miller said her hopes are to plant a seed of love over violence, especially in response to recent tragedies. Most recently, three white Idaho high-school students were arrested, charged with the assault and rape of a black student with disabilities in the southern Idaho community of Dietrich.
- Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence/Facebook
“The response to the Dietrich incident—‘boys will be boys’—tells us what we have to do as a state,” Miller said.
The possibility for change in Idaho requires multiple steps, she added, but the first is to recognize the tragedies as part of a larger problem.
“We listen and talk to people. We need to have real conversations and learn about each other,” said Miller. “We need to listen to girls, women, people of color, with disabilities about their lived experiences.”