Women Reported to Be Sexually Harassed During Grand Canyon Rafting Trips
An adrenalin rushing outdoor adventure is surely a great way to break a monotonous daily routine. That is why rafting trips in the Grand Canyon has been one of the most common options for those who want to experience nature and have fun at the same time. However, federal investigation found something horrible going on at the Grand Canyon’s National Park. There are roughly 19 people working as boatmen and supervisor on this park and some of the men allegedly competed for sex with their women co-workers. These men retaliated to those women who complained or refused to do such malicious act as well.
The number of employees who filed a complaint in 2014 reached to 13. It was stated on their complaint that sexual abuse has been done for 15 years. In an interview of 80 people, 19 of them were victims of the same misconduct.
“It’s a laissez faire culture. Meaning what happened on the river is expected to stay on the river”, a human resource official once said. But the sad part is; this has become a never ending culture adopted on such place despite all the complaints filed.
“Men were hostile when we refused during trips”; 8 women victims admitted. “Some boatmen would even divert to the wrong way so we can’t perform our duty”, they added. Other retaliation is done by leaving a can of human waste outside of the woman’s tent. Some women were not given their provision to let them suffer hunger as a punishment for refusing to participate in such a malicious act.
The park employees’ discipline for sexual misconduct has already started in 2003. Sanctions range from a reprimand letter up to suspension and eventually termination. And because the result of the said complaint often ends up with no result, many of the victims are discouraged to push through with the case.
A series of reforms however are being considered including zero tolerance to sexual harassment. On the email of James Doyle, he stated that among the modifications include nightly check-in calls via satellite phone, addition of a supervisor on every trip and setting up of regional ombudsman who will handle complaints outside National Park’s chain of commands.
“Excessive use of alcohol is one of the major culprit causing sexual violence during trips”, one of the victims admitted. Hence, it is but right to ban liquors and any hard drinks during trips as well.