In the past, the hotel industry has had a long history of being the place where men would sexually assault their women, but a new report from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that’s no longer the case.
In a study, the researchers found that in 2016, the number of hotels in the US that reported sexual assault had fallen by half compared to 2015.
They also found that hotel chains were becoming more conscious about how they handle sexual assault cases.
“In general, we think that this is a positive sign for women,” said co-author Shana K. Davis, an associate professor in the department of women’s studies and public policy at UC Berkeley.
“But there are still problems that we’re trying to figure out.”
According to the researchers, the hotels that had the most reports of sexual assault were:Hotel companies are also looking at ways to improve how they respond to sexual assault complaints.
The researchers looked at the number and type of complaints received by hotel chains over the past three years and found that the number fell by nearly 60 percent between 2015 and 2016.
In fact, the decline in complaints was so drastic that the report said the number in the past few years had been trending downward.
Hotel chain policy in 2016 had included a number of changes to prevent sexual harassment and assault, including limiting the number that could be shared with guests and providing a form for victims to report cases to law enforcement.
Davis and her co-authors also found a significant decrease in hotel-casualty incidents over the same period.
“We see a significant reduction in sexual assault reports across the board,” said Davis.
“So there is some hope that the hotel business is trying to do a better job of responding to sexual assaults, but we’re also not completely convinced that the business is doing a better one.”
While the number is down, the findings also suggest that hotel-room rates are still high.
According to a 2015 study, women spend $1,400 per year on room rentals.
That means a woman who has been assaulted at a hotel could spend up to $15,000 on legal fees, plus the cost of a trial, if she files a lawsuit.
Hotels, therefore, are making an effort to improve their systems, and it’s important that the hotels do it on a case-by-case basis, Davis said.
“The big takeaway here is that while there are some good efforts being made to improve the way that hotels are responding to cases of sexual violence, they’re not there for everyone,” said the report’s co-director, Sara K. Breslin.
“And while we know that the system has some problems, we’re not sure if it’s the problem that we need to focus on.”
“We’re seeing some improvements but not necessarily a full-blown overhaul,” Bresin said.