In The News

Feb 2, 2011

NATIONAL – ESPN fired veteran play-by-play announcer Ron Franklin on January 4 after he called sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards “sweet baby” and then used an expletive when she objected. This was not the first time Franklin has made inappropriate remarks to a sideline reporter. Franklin issued an apology after this incident, but was still let go. He had announced games for ESPN since 1987.


MILITARY – A recent study of female veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, found that those who became pregnant had twice the rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder as their non-pregnant peers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The authors wrote, “[O]ur results point to a need for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to continue to understand the overlap between pregnancy and mental health conditions in VHA patients.”


MILITARY – Admiral John C. Harvey Jr., commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, fired Captain Owen P. Honors on January 4 after inappropriate videos the Captain made four years ago surfaced on the Internet. The offensive videos had aired on the USS Enterprise’s closed-circuit television. In them, Captain Honors watches males and females shower together as part of a fictional water conservation exercise, uses anti-gay slurs, and more. Admiral Harvey will lead an investigation into whether other senior Navy officials knew about the videos and failed to take action. “The line is pretty clear: If sexual innuendo is involved, it is out of bounds,” Retired Vice Admiral John Morgan told the Washington Post. “What bothers me is that Capt. Honor’s behavior set a standard that allowed for sexual innuendo.”


AK – Nearly half of Alaska women have been threatened or physically harmed by a partner and nearly two in five (37 percent) were sexually victimized at some point in their lives. These findings are from a new poll led by experts at the University of Alaska-Anchorage Justice Center. It was designed to establish the baseline of domestic violence and sexual assault prevalence in the state, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Using the baseline, government officials can track whether prevention efforts are working. The study only included English-speaking adults, so the authors caution that the findings may be higher for non-English speakers. Women in shelter or prison were not included in the study.


CA – Governor Jerry Brown preserved $20.4 million dollars in state funding for domestic violence shelters in his 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 budget proposal, despite the state’s unprecedented budget deficit. Tara Shabazz, Executive Director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, said, “This has been a difficult time for everyone in the human services, but we thank our new Governor for recognizing that domestic violence shelters are essential to keeping California communities healthy, and victims and their families safe.”


PA – The University of Pittsburgh fired football coach Mike Haywood after he was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence battery in the presence of a minor. Haywood was arrested in Indiana after a custody issue developed with a woman with whom he has a child, the Associated Press reports. Haywood had been employed by the University for only a few weeks when he was terminated.


TX – El Paso County Commissioners have approved a court dedicated to preventing family violence, the El Paso Times reports. It will hear requests for protective orders and other issues associated with them, and will provide a “one-stop venue for all issues involving the family during the duration of the protective order, including child support, custody of children and visitation issues,” District Court Judge Yahara Lisa Gutierrez said. She will supervise the new court.


CANADA – Following the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a party, photos of the incident were posted on Facebook. Royal Canadian Mounted Police then charged two teenage boys in the case. One was charged with sexual assault and the other with production and distribution of child pornography, the Associated Press reports. Police officials said that after the crime, the victim had to leave her school because of bullying.


INDIA – A recent study finds that the deaths of 1.8 million female infants and children in India over the past 20 years are related to domestic violence against their mothers. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health examined more than 158,000 live births from December 1985 and August 2005 and found that husbands’ violence against wives increased the risk of death among female children – but not male children – in the first years of life, the Indian Express reports. “Gender-Based Disparities in Infant and Child Mortality Based on Maternal Exposure to Spousal Violence” was published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine


ISRAEL – A panel of judges on the Tel Aviv District Court has found former President Moshe Katsav guilty of rape, indecent assault and sexual harassment of female subordinates. The case was hailed as a “powerful affirmation of the rule of law and the rights of women, and a sign of changing norms in a society that for decades condoned sexual advances by powerful men,” the Washington Post reports. Katsav served as President, a mostly ceremonial post, from 2000 to 2007.


JAPAN – The government will launch a toll-free hotline for both female and male victims of domestic and sexual violence. Experts will counsel and support victims and refer them to hospitals and investigators, as needed. In 2009, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged the Japanese government to launch the free hotline and take other steps to help victims.