A lady is sleeping in a hotel room by herself for one reason or another. Maybe it’s a business trip or even a solo vacation. But what she doesn’t know is that this trip will change her life forever. Someone, a man specifically, will try to access her room, and he will try to rape her. If she’s lucky she will get away. Perhaps she has an impromptu meeting, or she’s meeting up with an old friend for dinner that evening. If she’s unlucky, then she will have to live with the trauma of this predatory act of rape. This has happened one too many times. Just thinking about this makes me sick.
A rapist gaining access to a woman’s hotel room is much easier than we think, and that’s probably why such instances are not uncommon in our world today. It is disheartening and sickening that in this day and age some men still feel entitled enough to force themselves onto women against their will. As we continue to hear cases of sexual violence, it has become necessary that women change so many aspects of their lives, their thinking, and their actions, just to prevent sexual assault. We have been left with no choice but to take necessary precautionary measures.
Here are a few safety tips that you should consider if you ever happen to be in a hotel room by yourself.
- Do your research prior to your stay at the hotel
Many sexual assault cases are usually covered up to protect the image of the hotel, because again, who would go to a hotel after hearing that someone was assaulted or even robbed there? However, there could be certain indicators such as the ratings of the hotel on Google, or even the reviews given on other apps. Check how people are rating the safety of that hotel, and stay away from hotels with low ratings.
- Inquire about the hotel’s safety measures
As you’re choosing among hotels to stay in, it is important that you find out what safety measures the hotel has in place to prevent such instances. For some hotels, you will need your hotel card to access certain floors of the building, while for others, they have proper security measures put in places. This should guide you on which hotel to stay in.
- Use the door chain
In many cases that have been circulating online, the perpetrator accesses the spare key through the hotel staff, and that’s how they’re able to get in easily. Many people have also come on to say that the only thing which saved them was the door chain. So as a precautionary measure, make sure to use the door chain to ensure added safety because it cannot easily be broken.
- Don’t publicize your room number
This can be done unknowingly. Sometimes you’re speaking to someone on the phone and you subconsciously mention your room number. This is dangerous because you never know who is listening and what they could do with that information. Be extra cautious and ensure that when you are mentioning your room number you are in a private area, and even then, lower your voice. You can even ask the receptionist to write your number down on a piece of paper rather than saying it out loud.
- Try getting a room that’s far from the street, and not on the ground floor
You want to make sure that your room is a bit inaccessible, and more often than not the ground floor is most accessible even by non-residents. It becomes harder for someone to get to you if you are staying on the second, third, or even fourth floor, as opposed to the first floor or ground floor. So make sure that you request a room that fits these credentials.
- Look for fire exits
In case anything were to happen it’s important to know where to run to. There is a need for a sort of escape plan from a perpetrator. So as you get into the hotel, you might want to find out where the fire exits are and where they lead to.
- Place the Do not Disturb tag on your door
Even when you’re leaving the hotel, you might want to place the tag on your door, so as to discourage anyone from entering your room while you are not there.
- Ensure your door lock works
The mistake many of us make is in assuming that everything in the hotel room works, including the safe or even the fridge. So make sure that your door lock is working to make it harder for anyone to easily access your room.
- Lock your windows
It’s easy for someone to get into your room through the windows, and so just as a precautionary measure and to ensure you won’t forget, keep them locked most of the time, and especially at night. If it gets too hot you can always use the air conditioner if there’s one.
- Never open your door unless you know who is behind it
If you’re not expecting someone, then don’t open the door at all unless you’re sure about who it is. You might be taking all these measures, and then someone comes and simply knocks at your door and you let them in, then the worst happens. So just don’t do it.
- Pack a rubber door stopper with you
This is an investment that will help you feel and be safer. So whenever you’re sleeping in a foreign place by yourself, you can always hook it under your door and it will be much harder for someone to open the door, if not impossible. Even if they do get in, you may have enough time to call for help.
- Never volunteer the information that you are travelling alone. Lie if necessary.
In some cases lying is necessary. This is one of them. If anyone asks you who you’re with on the trip, then you can always cook up a lie. I would advise that you lie that you’re with your husband, brother, or a male friend.
- Book online
Booking online saves you a lot of time because you won’t have to give too much information at the reception desk where other people can hear. If the desk clerk says your number out loud when you are surrounded by strangers, request another room and ask them to write it down on a piece of paper.