Women and Hotel Security, Part 1

Front Desk, Marriott Hotel, New Orleans, LA, Author prayitno, Source Flickr (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he [the wounded man] was.  And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds…and…brought him to an inn…” (Luke 10: 33-34).

Inns offering travelers a place to rest have existed since Greco-Roman times.  Standards were, however, different in those days.

The inn might consist of a room in someone’s home, or a large building charging a fee to provide individuals or passing caravans with a meal and shelter.  A traveler would be grateful to stretch out on the ground for a night’s sleep.

Hotel Crime

Glitzy as they may appear today, hotels are not always safe places for women.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that there were on average 7840 annual hotel and motel incidents qualifying as “violent victimizations” (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault) between 2004 and 2008 [1].

In view of the recent attack at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, it would seem we must add mass shootings to the list [2].

But hotels may not file insurance claims for all losses, or report all crimes to police [3].  Protecting the hotel brand is often considered paramount.

A Unique Danger

Hotels present a unique danger to women.  Despite the presence of surveillance cameras, foot traffic is scarce.  Sound is intentionally muffled by insulation and carpeting, which can stifle cries for help.

Security personnel may be understaffed, poorly trained, or required to take on tasks unrelated to security because of budgetary constraints [4].  The so called “Craigslist Killer”, Philip Markoff, committed his crimes at hotels [5].

The challenge for women – especially those traveling alone – is to balance boldness with caution.   Reasonable safety precautions are not too much to ask of the businesses we support.

[1]  Bureau of Justice Statistics, Location, https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=44.

[2]  Over 50 concertgoers were killed, and over 500 wounded by a lone gunman.  See, NBC News, “Las Vegas Shooting:  59 Killed and More Than 500 Wounded Near Mandalay Bay” by Andrew Blankstein, Pete Williams, Rachel Elbaum, and Elizabeth Chuck,  10/2/17, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/las-vegas-police-investigating-shooting-mandalay-bay-n806461/.

[3]  ABC News (with USA Today), “Hotel crime rises in recession, but hotels say they’re still safe” by Gary Stoller, 5/17/09, http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=7611072&page=1.

[4]  Add to this the risk borne by hotel maids, themselves.  Union surveys suggest that as many as 50% of housekeeping staff have been sexually assaulted or harassed by guests.  Some hotels now provide their staff with panic buttons.  See, Washington Post, “A millionaire, a hotel maid, and an arrest after the inauguration for sex abuse” by Michael Miller, 5/21/17, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-millionaire-a-hotel-maid-and-an-arrest-after-inauguration/2017/05/21/ceb3410e-397a-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.6e0a1a5d9bcd.

[5]  The hotels in question were the Westin Copley Place and Copley Marriott in Boston, MA; and the Holiday Inn Express in Warwick, RI.  For more details, see Boston Globe, “Files tell more about ‘Craigslist Killer’ ” by Maria Cramer and Shelley Murphy, 4/1/11,  http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/04/01/files_tell_more_about_craigslist_killer/.

One of many posts online with tips for women traveling alone can be found at http://www.travelassistant.in/10-tips-women-travelling-alone/

Violence against women will be further discussed in Part 2

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Mandalay Bay shooting and their loved ones



Filed under Christianity, Rape, Religion, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women

7 responses to “Women and Hotel Security, Part 1

  1. Oh, Lord…I had no idea….and, it speaks to the lens that you can see the world through, given your traumas/experiences….your resilience and ongoing efforts make you a brave and treasured game-changer,,,,thank you! ❤

  2. thanks for passing along important info 🙂

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