Marriott's latest: too little too late
Stop Famiily Violence calls on Marriott to lead Hotel Industry in Reforms
UPDATE AUG 19:
Keep it up! Our message is working. Last night at 8pm, Marriott International issued an apology, meeting half of our first request! (see our requests for how Marriott should respond below)
They've apologized for the calloused legal tactics, but not yet taken responsibility for failing to provide a safe environment. (the parking garage had no security guard and a broken security camera that they knew was broken)
Based on this Washington Post article, it seems they're trying to hang the local franchise out to dry for the legal tactics, and not accepting any responsibility for that either.
The Stamford Marriott is one of the company's franchise hotels..... About 100 suits a year are filed against Marriott International stemming from incidents at franchise hotels. In those cases, the franchisee's insurance company controls the defense on behalf of those named in lawsuits.... Officials in Marriott's corporate offices said they asked the lawyers not to pursue a blame-the-victim defense as soon as they learned of it.
Marriott International has been named as party in the lawsuit since the beginning. If Marriott International has not been paying attention to what's been going on, and chosen not to take an active role in the legal defense whose fault is that?
How sad that they're trying to come out smelling like a rose, while letting their franchise take the fall. Tells you something about their character, huh?
The good news is that they've indicated they have a hand in the legal process now, as they're claiming it is thanks to them that the "blame the victim" legal defense has been dropped.
The other good news is, based on the apology they issued, we know we've got their attention.
Let's keep the messages going until they meet the rest of our requests to take responsibility for what happened to this rape survivor and her children, and for keeping all their guests safe!
While you're sending messages, Stop Family Violence will be working on other strategies to bring this matter to the attention of the Marriott Board of Directors. Wonder how they'll feel about the hardball tactics that are being used against a rape survivor and her young children who witnessed it, especially considering that parking security was patently inadequate?
ACT NOW! Tell Marriott to take responsibility and become an industry leader in ensuring the safety of their guests.
The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, sued by a woman raped in front of her children at gunpoint in its unmonitored parking garage, claimed she was careless, negligent and "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities." Now Marriott International has stated they will drop the "blame the victim" legal defense. Let Marriott know their response is too little too late, and tell them how they can support the survivor and all women.
In a statement released to the press, StopFamilyViolence.org's Executive Director Irene Weiser said,
"Jane Doe was viciously assaulted by a rapist in 2006, and is being viciously assaulted again now by a calloused corporation that has put its bottom line above human decency. There is nothing in the Marriott’s latest statement to indicate Marriott takes any responsibility for what happened to the survivor, nor any evidence that they wish to end her ongoing suffering by settling the lawsuit. Rather, the statement merely signals a change in legal strategy because the public relations fallout from their bullying legal tactics are hurting business."
"The statements and actions by Marriott International were cruel and heartless and no doubt have added to the rape survivor's trauma. What's more, Marriott's actions have sent a chill to women everywhere since fear of being blamed and ruthless legal tactics are key reasons that survivors don't report this all-too-common demeaning and brutal crime."
"It is time for society to stop blaming survivors of rape for the crimes committed against them and to start placing the blame squarely where it belongs – on the men who perpetrate these acts and on societal attitudes that excuse men's violence and condone the degradation of women."
Marriott International's August 14 press release states, "unfortunately this situation has created a mistaken impression that Marriott lacks respect and concern for Ms. Doe or other victims of violent crime."
StopFamilyViolence.org calls on Marriott International Inc. to clear up this 'mistaken impression' and show true respect for Ms. Doe and all women by taking the following actions:
1. Issue a public apology to Ms. Doe regarding the calloused legal tactics that were used against her in which Marriott accepts responsibility for not providing a safe environment and expresses regret for the trauma their legal strategy and negligence have caused.
2. Stop pursuing a trial and instead settle the case with Jane Doe for the damages she seeks.
3. Become a leader for the hotel industry and make the respect and safety of women a top priority at all Marriott properties by doing the following:
a) Ensure that all Marriott properties have adequate lighting and security cameras indoors, outdoors and in parking garages. Provide parking escorts 24/7 if asked and make it clearly known that Marriott provides this service. (Alternatively – provide valet parking for all at no additional charge.)
b) Screen all job applicants and current employees and refuse to employ anyone with a history of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or child abuse.
c) Become a member of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence and develop human resource policies to protect employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
d) Make annual financial and in-kind contributions to the sexual assault and domestic violence organizations that serve the communities where Marriott properties are located.
e) Remove "Adult videos" from in-room movie selections in all Marriott properties. More than anything else in our culture, pornography legitimizes men's degradation and sexual abuse of women.