Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Stalking ESPN's Erin Andrews

As Stalking Awareness Month is just around the corner, this story illustrates the fact that stalking remains an important issue that needs to be addressed. On December 15th, Michael David Barrett, an Illinois insurance executive, pled guilty to stalking ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews. “More specifically, Barrett admitted to buying information about Andrews over the internet; traveling to follow Andrews; staying in three hotel rooms next to hers (the hotels told him which room was hers); twice filming videos of Andrews while she was naked through the door's peephole; posting those videos online; and trying to sell the videos to TMZ.”

As a female sportscaster, Erin Andrews is faced with a struggle against sexism and misogyny that male sportscasters do not experience. Andrews is now devoted to advocating for changes in the hotel industry to protect female travelers from becoming victims of stalking in the future. She says, “I live in hotels because of my job, and every time I check in, I look around, constantly thinking he is there.” Victims of stalking are forced to live their lives in fear, and this is something Andrews is dedicated to putting an end to. “I have a responsibility to other women,” she says. “If I back down or shy away, what kind of message does that send to other women and other guys who may be doing this?” We all have the opportunity to work with Erin Andrews and support the many victims of stalking this January. Stalking is not a joke, and it is important for everyone to understand the horrors that it entails. The full story can be found here: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/illinois-man-pleads-guilty-to-stalking-espns-erin-andrews

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