When women travel, they often stay at large corporate hotels for their own safety. Rural motels and owner-occupied short-term rentals can be very unsafe options for solitary female travelers. Women often book themselves rooms at large chains when traveling for business or pleasure to have a safe room to come back to at the end of each day.
However, the horrifying details of a recently filed lawsuit illustrate how the workers at some chain hotels sometimes contribute to the sexual assaults that target their customers.
Rapists have been able to obtain room keys for targeted victims
The details of an assault out of Texas are enough to make anyone’s blood run cold. A man targeted a woman and followed her back to the hotel where she had paid for a room. He then went right up to the front desk and claimed that he knew the woman. He convinced the worker to give him a key card and entered her room.
In this particular case, she was able to scream and evade rape, but other women in similar incidents are not as fortunate. There have been numerous times when hotel workers have given key cards or room keys to assailants, thereby facilitating a sexual assault. There is even a record of an incident where hotel workers and police officers cooperated to bring a chemically-impaired woman to her assailant’s hotel room after people contacted authorities out of fear for her safety.
Lawsuits are a way to force a change in policy
The safety of hotel and motel guests should be the top priority of the staff members, which should include ensuring that no one accesses a guest’s rented room without their knowledge and consent. In scenarios where a business engages in unsafe practices that end up contributing to an act of violence against a visitor or patron, the people harmed may have grounds to pursue a claim against the business.
Lawsuits stemming from criminal incidents at hotels and motels can force systemic change and can help prevent others from experiencing the same kind of tragic violation as the women mentioned in the stories above. Seeking legal guidance and holding businesses accountable for facilitating sexual assault and other violent crimes can lead to better policies for the protection of vulnerable patrons.