This one is a few weeks old by now, but a very unfortunate and current example of the classic blame the rape victim.
A woman was raped at gunpoint in the hotel parking garage in front of her two children at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford Connecticut. The woman’s attacker is serving a 20-year prison term for the 2006 attack, but in the woman’s lawsuit against Marriot the company claimed that she:
failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities.
Not only is this blaming the rape victim and blaming the mother, but in my opinion it is also Marriott admitting that its hotels are no safer than the worst neighbourhoods out there. Why would anyone stay at a hotel like that? You might as well just grab a mattress and throw it on the ground in an alley in a violent area.
To make matters worse, Marriott also wanted to be sure that everyone knew exactly which mother to blame, when it indirectly disclosed her and her children’s identities by seeking subpeonas for people like her pilates instructor, friends and tennis partners, house cleaner and baby sitter.
The company later retracted its “blame the victim” defense after it realized the extent of the backlash. Too little, too late.
Marriott is a Disgrace: A Loyal Marriotteer No More (blog post on Dirt & Noise)