A surprisingly large number of hotel workers were victims of sexual abuse during their career in hospitality. Studies estimate that more than 25% of female workers experienced some type of sexual harassment or even assault during their careers.
These devastating numbers have a huge impact on the hospitality industry overall, with more people trying to avoid starting their careers in this business.
Sexual Harassment Exists in Hospitality Industry
Sexual hospitality was a part of the industry in ancient times. Hotel owners often had female hotel workers that used to entertain male guests in various sexual ways. Sexual hospitality, although never advertised, was a way to attract guests, both locals and those who visit from other areas.
Even today, there are reports of sexual harassment in the industry. It’s mostly reported in places where alcohol is allowed. Unfortunately, some guests mistake courtesy for flirting, thus escalating things very quickly, especially in less-known hotels and motels.
Many guests, especially younger ones, tend to explore the nightlife in the city they visit. And the staff being courteous is often mistaken for flirting, and guests under the influence are very direct with hotel workers, which is considered sexual abuse even if nothing happens.
Putting Significance to a Safe Culture and Network
There’s a huge difference between world-renowned establishments and unknown local hotels and motels people visit, especially when it comes to cases of sexual abuse. More affordable hotels and motels usually attract guests with lower morals and higher expectations when it comes to service.
Much needs to be done in these establishments to eliminate the possibility of sexual abuse on hotel workers. Having a strict dress code for all employees is the first step in setting a safe environment. Strict house rules can also improve the way guests behave and attract different types of visitors altogether.
Hotel workers feel safer when management focuses on implementing rules and boundaries that restrict guests from interacting with staff in a way that’s unprofessional.
Having a safe environment is one of the most important aspects of any business in hospitality for both hotel workers and guests alike. Even if some situations have occurred in the past, it’s possible to turn things around just by creating a safe environment and implementing a few rules for guests and employees alike.
Setting Up Boundaries for Your Protection
Sexual abuse isn’t only the act of having sex with someone without consent. Inappropriate comments, lewdness, and even flirting can be considered harassment.
Unfortunately, hotel workers, waiters, baristas, and others working in the hospitality business are often victims of all types of sexual abuse. Management in hospitality usually implements various house rules to minimize inappropriate behavior and sexual abuse, but it still happens.
The thing hotel workers can do to avoid any type of sexual abuse is to set boundaries as soon as they notice guests being too straightforward with their comments. It can be an uncomfortable situation to be in, but the quicker one reacts, the less chance there will be for things to escalate. As mentioned, sexual abuse isn’t only considered when physical engagement occurs. It can be verbal as well.
When hotel workers set boundaries towards other staff members and guests, it’s important to stick to them strictly, without any flexibility. It can be difficult at the beginning, but as soon as you implement your own rules, others will start respecting them. These boundaries or rules will help avoid any and all awkward situations you might have found yourself in the past.
Taking Action Within Your Environment
People in the hospitality business are often victims of sexual abuse. Some hotel workers don’t react when they notice the first signs of a problem, which often leads to the situation escalating to something much worse. The thing about it is that actions need to be taken instantly, as soon as the first signs of inappropriate behavior are spotted. Being absolutely clear and direct is the smartest move in this situation.
Business management should make policies clear for all guests and include training for all employees so they can spot any inappropriate behavior on time. House rules and policies should be as clear as possible, so both guests and employees should know what kind of behavior is tolerated in the establishment. T
When hotel workers know their rights, it’s much easier to react appropriately, resolving any kind of uncomfortable situation before it escalates. That’s why it’s important to have all staff members go through training and inform them about their rights when they’re at work.
No one should feel disrespected or even abused, and it’s the responsibility of the owners and management to create a safe working environment for all of their employees.
Insights Coming From Survivors
Hotel workers are going through some difficult situations during their careers, but things are looking better by the day. With so many businesses in hospitality taking this issue more seriously, there have been fewer reports of sexual abuse in the hospitality industry.
People working in hotels and other hospitality businesses are still filled with anxiety. Many have already been in an awkward situation with guests but with other staff members as well. New policies and guidelines help employees with dealing with the situation they found themselves in, and training has helped many control the situation as calmly as possible.
Being courteous is a part of the job in the hospitality industry, no matter what the job description is. Unfortunately, many people mistake courtesy with flirting, which leads to inappropriate comments and awkward situations.
Some of those who found themselves in the situation ended up traumatized. Some even ended up in therapy, while others quit their jobs and moved to a completely different industry, hoping they’ll never find themselves in the same situation again.