WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) is launching a month-long campaign along with member companies and national partners to raise public awareness about sexual assault and reaffirm the hotel industry’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all employees and guests. Today, AHLA’s 2019 Board of Directors launched this campaign by uniting against sexual violence with an open letter in The Wall Street Journal, and by wearing jeans as part of a social media movement ahead of Peace Over Violence’s Denim Day on April 24.
AHLA’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign throughout April will feature the following:
- Today, AHLA’s 2019 Board of Directors issued an open letter in The Wall Street Journal to our valued guests, noting our long-standing commitment to raising awareness of sexual violence and providing hotel operators with new trainings, tools, and resources to educate employees on identifying and reporting sexual harassment and assault.
- In addition to the public commitment announced in The Wall Street Journal, AHLA’s 2019 Board of Directors dressed in jeans on April 2 at its board meeting to launch a social media campaign culminating in AHLA’s sponsorship of Peace Over Violence’s Denim Day on April 24.
- AHLA is proud to partner with prominent national organizations throughout the month of April. AHLA is an official sponsor of Peace Over Violence’s Denim Day activities on April 24, and will join millions of individuals to wear jeans for the purpose of supporting survivors and educating others about all forms of sexual violence. AHLA’s donation will allow Peace Over Violence to continue to lead and expand critical violence prevention education campaign throughout the Los Angeles metro area.
- AHLA will also participate in Raliance and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month Policy Briefing on April 3 to educate Congressional staff on the 1500 local agencies that provide the frontline response to the widespread and devastating problem of sexual assault in our communities.
- Additionally, AHLA provided a Sexual Assault Awareness Month resource toolkit to all its members to help raise awareness and encourage member engagement by utilizing a variety of national resources and Sexual Assault Awareness Month collateral, including educational table tents for member properties and pins to be worn throughout the month.
“Safety is a never-ending challenge, and the hotel and lodging industry is committed to working with safety experts to continuously update protocols and procedures to better address the needs of employees, while also ensuring a safe environment for workers and guests,” said Chip Rogers, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association. “This April, we look forward to working with our national partners, such as Peace Over Violence and National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, this month and into the future to help end sexual violence.”
“We commend the American Hotel and Lodging Association for their efforts to raise public awareness about sexual violence prevention and the important role that the hotel and lodging industry plays in promoting respect, safety, and equality for all employees and guests,” said Monika Johnson Hostler, RALIANCE Managing Partner and President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “It will take the commitment from partners in every industry to create workplaces free from sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse and we encourage other business and industry leaders to also champion this message throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and join us in the fight to end sexual violence in one generation.”
“The success of the Denim Day campaign is due in large part to the support of our partners, partners like AHLA. Peace Over Violence created the campaign in order for people around the world to actively engage their own communities to bring awareness about sexual violence and its impact. The sponsorship of AHLA enables POV to continue to reach people across the world with sexual violence awareness, demonstrating what it means to support survivors, and providing critical healing services and violence prevention programming to communities,” said Patti Giggans, Executive Director of POV and Founder of Denim Day. “If we want to see an end to sexual violence it’s going to take all of us, that’s why are so grateful for the commitment AHLA has made to survivors through Denim Day during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”
Last year, AHLA was proud to join nearly 20 major hotel brands in membership on September 6, 2018 to announce the 5-Star Promise, a pledge to provide hotel employees across the U.S. with employee safety devices (ESDs) and commit to enhanced policies, trainings and resources that together are aimed at enhancing hotel safety, including preventing and responding to sexual harassment and assault.
Expanding on employee and guest safety, AHLA wants to send a loud and clear message that our industry will never tolerate the scourge that is human trafficking. Across the industry, numerous resources and training tools for hotel employees are being implemented with various engaged partners like Polaris, ECPAT-USA, the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, and more. Every year thousands of employees are trained to spot and help stop trafficking incidences. We are voluntarily implementing employee training and awareness programs because it is the right thing to do. With resolve and commitment, we will win the war on human trafficking.
The hotel and lodging industry also has a strong legacy of training around other critical safety and security issues and we are working to accomplish this by broadening partnerships with wide-ranging national organizations that target sexual violence, sexual assault and trafficking and promote workplace safety, including the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, DC Rape Crisis Center, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Peace Over Violence, RALIANCE, RAINN, ECPAT USA, Polaris and BEST, and continue providing industry-wide training and materials development.