In The News

Jul 30, 2009

NATIONAL – Several media outlets have run a video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, without clothing, that was taken without her knowledge through a peephole drilled in her hotel room. Fox News, CBS and the New York Post are among the outlets that either ran photos from the video or aired the video itself, with parts of Andrews’ body blurred. In response, ESPN banned New York Post reporters from appearing on its programs and announced that ESPN has no plans to report on the incident, which does not fit its definition of sports news. Andrews’ attorney released a statement: “Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and anyone who has published the material.”

NATIONAL – Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced the Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act on July 23. The legislation would provide support for a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention program for women. Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler said, “We appreciate the dedication of these leaders in crafting a bill that reflects a clear understanding of the impact of violence on women’s reproductive health outcomes, including unintended pregnancies.”

CA – Three domestic violence homicides over the course of a week in late July “provide startling examples of how domestic violence can escalate unexpectedly and with deadly consequence,” the Sacramento Bee reports. Police do not know what triggered the homicides and notes that tracing the violence back to a direct cause is difficult, even when detectives suspect domestic violence was a factor. In one of the homicides, the perpetrator killed himself after shooting his wife.

TN – Adrian J. Gilliam, convicted in 1993 of murder and armed robbery, was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm after allegedly selling a gun to Sahel Kazemi, the girlfriend of Steve McNair, who allegedly used the gun to kill McNair and then herself, the Associated Press reports. Kazemi reportedly purchased the fully loaded gun from a “private individual” in the parking lot of the mall where she worked two days before the shooting. Gilliam faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine because convicted felons are prohibited from owning, selling or holding guns.

JORDAN – The International Rescue Committee is running a two-year intensive training course for case workers at the Jordan River Foundation, to help them respond more effectively to violence against women. The victims they see are predominantly Iraqi refugees. The Jordanian Ministry of Social Development and Family Protection will later implement the training course at the national level. “The training is a crucial milestone, since there are so few qualified Jordanian professionals in the field of helping victims of violence against women,” said Samia Bishara, project supervisor for the Jordan River Foundation. The new program is supported by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

UK – Women in some parts of the United Kingdom are more than 11 times more likely to secure a rape conviction than women in other parts of the country, a new Fawcett Society report finds. The Fawcett Society used the latest government data to compute changes in conviction rates, finding that rates fell in 16 of 42 police force areas between 2006 and 2007. “The appalling figures in most police force areas reveal that women continue to face a postcode lottery when reporting rape to the police,” said Fawcett Society Director Katherine Rake. “There is also patchy provision of support services for women who have experienced rape across England and Wales, particularly in rural areas.”