Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Erin Andrews bravery is remarkable

I applaud ESPN reporter Erin Andrews' incredible bravery in facing her stalker in court. Andrews didn't have any obligation to attend the proceedings, where he admitted to secretly video taping her in her hotel rooms. She could have had her lawyer read a letter to the court. But she chose to stand in the same courtroom and ask the judge to sentence him to the maximum penalty. It was an amazing and inspiring show of courage.

While the criminal court case soon will be over, her hurt and shame is something she may have to deal with for the rest of her life. Andrews admitted yesterday that she is still fearful, both in public and in her home, and humiliated by the experience. She also said that some insensitive sports fans have been tormenting her when she's on the sidelines. Those people know who they are and will have to answer for their abuse in due time. But Andrews continues focusing on what she can control: doing her job.
Andrews seems determined to make something positive come out of her experience by protecting other women who may be vulnerable to such abuse. Her lawyer has urged the hotel industry to take greater steps to protect their guests, which they failed to do with Andrews when one hotel gave her stalker a room next to her without alerting Andrews. As much as her public profile made this a more painful experience for her, she may also be able to use it to her advantage by publicly shaming these businesses to take action and encouraging state and federal lawmakers to pass and strengthen video voyeur laws to impose harsher punishment.
I hope Andrews is successful in this quest, which could help ease her pain.

Thanks to Aaron via Wikipedia for the photo.

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