Friday, August 14, 2009

Blaming the victim

Usually I go for the fluff when given the choice between posting about fluff or substance. I'm just so disgusted right now that I can really only vent.

In a nutshell, the article refers to a woman who was raped at gunpoint in the parking garage at the Stamford Marriott. In response to a lawsuit, the hotel not only argued that she failed to use good sense to protect herself and her children, but they also subpoenaed people like her babysitter and Pilates instructor who had not knowledge of her rape to testify.

Here's my thing. I can understand the Marriott feeling like they had no responsibility in the matter. They didn't rape the poor woman. They didn't know the rapist was hanging around waiting to rape anyone. Crimes happen everywhere and everyday and the people to blame are the criminals, not the people who own the plot of land where the crime happened. I get that. But I have stayed in a Marriott before. I complained about my wireless internet not working and they gave me a free breakfast and moved me to a different room. If someone gets violated on their property, I would expect that there be some compensation. Though I expect a free breakfast would have been the wrong thing to do, it was better than what they did instead.

Blame. Humiliation. "It's your own fault."

Marriott--you are disgusting.


  1. Disgusting is the right word for it.

  2. That's horrifying. Marriott, shame on you. You have lost my respect, and my business. And I will tell everyone I know, too.

  3. Remember this, people, when you book a hotel. And WOMEN should let the Marriot chain know they will book NOTHING in groups at their hotels.

    Unfortunately survivors are forever living with blame. But this is, indeed, disgusting. I'm wondering if a mass-email boycott would have any affect.

  4. The one thing that I haven't seen answered in this whole debacle is if she reported to the Mariott that this guy was hanging around.

    If she didn't report him to security, but saw him hanging around for several days, that would fall into the category of not exercising due care for herself and her children.

    Not defending the Mariott, but pointing out that there's still gaps in what we know and what we don't know about the situation.

  5. I completely agree, Alan. I don't necessarily feel that the Marriott has any responsibility at all.

    But calling her out the way they did was not only immoral to do to someone who has already been kicked around but a stupid, stupid PR nightmare. They ought to know better. Even if they don't pay her a dime, they are going to have to throw a lot of money into the marketing black hole to take the tarnish off this.