AH&LA launches sexual assault awareness campaign

The AH&LA's board of directors wore denim at its April 2 meeting in recognition Peace Over Violence's upcoming Denim Day. Photo credit: AH&LA (the AH&LA 2019 Board of Directors pose together behind a Denim Day banner)

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the American Hotel & Lodging Association launched a multifaceted public-awareness campaign to bring attention to the issue. The AH&LA’s efforts include supporting Peace Over Violence’s Denim Day activities, sending out resources to its members and participating in a policy briefing to congressional staff on sexual assault.

At its board of directors meeting yesterday members wore jeans in a nod to the AH&LA’s support for Denim Day. The association is one of many national groups sponsoring the event, scheduled by Peace Over Violence for April 24. AH&LA's donation will go to leading and expanding educational campaigns on violence prevention in the Los Angeles metro area.

Today, the group is participating with Raliance (a national partnership dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation) and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence’s policy briefing with congressional staff, educating them on the 1,500 local agencies that offer a frontline response to sexual assault within the country’s communities.

In addition, The Wall Street Journal yesterday published an open letter from AH&LA addressing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The full-page paid advertisement outlined the details of the "5-Star Promise" initiative agreed to by nearly 20 brands this past September. AH&LA Chairman Geoff Ballotti, President/CEO Chip Rogers and the current board of directors attached their names to the letter.

This initiative includes the rollout of personal safety devices across participating brands' U.S. hotels by 2020, mandatory anti-sexual-harassment policies, ongoing anti-sexual-harassment training, a commitment to encourage a culture of safety, and a broadening of partnerships with organizations that combat sexual violence and promote workplace safety.

For its members, the AH&LA has distributed a Sexual Assault Awareness Month resource toolkit that includes educational table tents and pins to be worn throughout April. The association also is providing members with national resources and materials to help raise awareness.