You book a vacation with a reputable organization because you don't want any problems but then something horrific happens. Instead of accepting responsibility, the agency offers a treat that demeans the nightmarish experience you just lived through.
This just happened to Georgina Mortimer, a British M.D., who'd gone to the Caribbean island St. Lucia with Girls for Sail, a travel organization that teaches women of all ages to handle a boat and promises to "maintain a safe environment."
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That wasn't Mortimer's experience. While on the island, she, along with two instructors, were staying in a small villa. Although she didn't have a key to her room, she believed the front door would be locked at all times. That doesn't seem to have happened. On her FIRST night, she woke up to find a stranger in her room. He raped and almost strangled her. As she later told the British news sites, she thought she was going to die.
Afterward, the tour operator offered the British mom of two a massage and manicure as compensation. She was disgusted by the company's lack of empathy. "I’d gone on a women only holiday to learn to sail believing I would be safe," she said. "I am shocked by a company, which claims to empower women by helping them learn to sail without men, has treated a rape victim so badly. My life has been turned upside down. To be offered a massage and manicure is disgusting."
Even after the company returned her money--and offered her a free day's sailing lesson--Mortimer felt belittled. She's hoping her case makes it easier for people to sue travel agencies and house rental agencies in case something goes terribly wrong.
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