Thursday, August 13, 2009

Write Something Against Victim Blaming

"A Connecticut Marriott, which is being sued by a woman who was raped in front of her children in its parking garage, is claiming she "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children."

The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, and the firms that manage the hotel and parking garage, have filed court documents arguing that the hotel is not responsible for damages even though the woman was raped on the premises because she was careless, negligent, and didn't exercise "proper use of her senses and facilities,"

... as she was loading her two children under the age of seven into their car seats in the back of her minivan. He stuck a gun in her back and she told him to take her wallet, but he demanded that she take off her clothes. He raped her and pointed a gun at one of the children and threatened to sexually assault one of them too. When another car pulled up she screamed and Fricker fled. ...

...It would seem the decent thing to do (and the smarter public relations move) would have been for Marriott to cooperate with the woman from the start or pay her the $15,000. The defense could have just argued that no one but Fricker was responsible for the crime, but instead the hotel management is blaming the victim for endangering herself and her children..."

(She only asked $15,000!)
This seemed like an easy one to do something about.  Here's what I wrote on the hotel's online contact form.  Probably you could come up with something better.
"Dear Hotel Personnel,
I recently read about the case regarding the woman who was raped at gunpoint in the parking structure in front of her children. I'm certain you know to what I am referring.
I am horrified to learn that the hotel's response was that it was her own fault. Such victim-blaming is FAR worse publicity than simply paying the damages she requested.
After all, most women already know that no place is going to be 100% free from risk of possible sexual assault, no matter how "secure." (We just ask that you try to reduce it with security measures.) The hotel's insensitive response, however, is very attention-getting in a negative way.
Better luck next time with whoever makes your publicity decisions. I hope they remember what percentage of household financial decisions women make.
[doctorlizardo], Ph.D."

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