Rape Notes Deemed Private; Bishop Blames Victims

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersNotes written by a victim’s advocate working with the woman who has accused Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant of rape are privileged information, the judge in the case has ruled.The Denver Post reports that Bryant’s lawyers had battled to get access to the notes, claiming they were not subject to client-therapist privilege because they were notes on a meeting between the accuser and the police, which the advocate sat in on.But attorney Inga Causey, representing the Resource Center of Eagle County, Colo., where the counselor worked, successfully argued that no one would confide in victim advocates if any aspect of their communication could be made public.Causey told Judge Terry Ruckriegle that providing the defense with the notes could stop other victims from reporting rapes. She also noted that the accuser had already paid a price for coming forward. “Her name, home address, phone number have been passed around like a dirty post card,” Causey said. For more information:The Denver Post–“Bryant not privy to notes, judge rules”: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E1926785,00.html?search=filterTaiwan News–“Spaniards Angered by Bishops”: http://www.etaiwannews.com/World/2004/02/06/1076034307.htmJeersDomestic violence, sexual abuse and homeless children are the “bitter fruits” of sexual liberation, according to the Spanish Roman Catholic Bishops Conference, which released a treatise on the family this week.With domestic violence on the rise in Spain, and “horrific stories about women dying or being beaten by their husbands and partners,” appearing daily in the newspapers, women’s groups and politicians jumped on the domestic violence aspect of the treatise, reports The Associated Press.”The cause of violent death of some 100 women every year is not the sexual revolution,” says opposition Socialist party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, “but rather criminal machismo.” The leading Spanish daily, El Pais, called the bishops’ position “ludicrous.”

Breastfeeding Ads Are Okayed; Female GIs Report Rapes

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersLa Leche League International reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is going ahead with a national campaign on the risks of not breastfeeding. The campaign uses public service ads to point out that breastfeeding can prevent diarrhea, ear infections and respiratory illnesses in infants and might have an effect on childhood obesity. It had been delayed by infant formula industry representatives and others who claimed a more “positive” approach would be better.Women’s groups and breastfeeding supporters around the country launched their own campaign in favor of the ads. The department apparently received more than 1,000 letters and e-mails calling for the ads to run as planned, a show of support La Leche believes had “a significant influence on the decisions made.” The battle over the ads also created a brouhaha in the American Academy of Pediatrics, when President, Dr. Carden Johnston, wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson about the campaign’s “negative approach,” in which he implied that the facts in the ads could not stand up to scientific scrutiny.But Dr. Lawrence Gartner, chair of the executive committee of the academy’s section on breastfeeding, followed up with his own letter, publicly disagreeing with Johnston.