Heal Sexual Harassment Victims of the National Parks Service!
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Tell the National Parks Service that they must take care of the women they allowed to be harassed.
Since its inception in 1916, the National Parks Service (NPS) has grown into a network of beautiful locations visited by about 275 million people each year.
In its wake, the NPS has left behind countless female victims.
Female employees of the NPS have for years entered work environments where the "good ol' boy" mentality remains prevalent. Not only has this left women vulnerable to sexual harassment; it has left women traumatized, and in fear of losing their job1.
Some women, who spent years of their lives dreaming, and working toward, a job in the NPS, are left fearing what they once loved most: the outdoors2.
At Yosemite National Park alone, 18 employees have come forward with allegations of harassment or misconduct "so severe that a recent report labeled working conditions at the park 'toxic3.'"
The problem extends much further than just Yosemite. It extends into many of the agency's hundreds of parks.
A technical report issued by the NPS found that a full 37% of of employees experienced some form of harassment and/or assault related behaviors in the 12 months before being surveyed for the report4.
For some employees, these experiences had a negative impact on their interpersonal relationships with coworkers, supervisors, or managers; resulted in arguments or damaged interpersonal relations at work; and/or damaged other personal relationships. These experiences also had a negative impact on the physical or emotional well-being of some employees, leading them to call in sick or take leave, seek counseling, or medical attention4.
No human being should be subjected to such behavior in the workplace.
The NPS is currently under widespread investigation, yet there is no program within the service that attempts to heal the wounds of victims harassed, and silenced, during their time with the organization.
These women need a place to turn, and it's beyond unacceptable for the NPS to fail them once more. Sign below to urge the Director of the NPS to develop and implement a program to help these victims of sexual harassment find justice and healing.
- Lyndsey Gilpin, The Atlantic, (15 December 2016), "The National Park Service Has a Big Sexual Harassment Problem."
- Lyndsey Gilpin, High Country News (15 November 2021), "The Park Service buried its own study on harassment."
- Associated Press (29 September 2016), "Yosemite Head Retiring Amid Reports of Harassment in Workplace."
- National Parks Service (29 September 2017), "Technical Reports: National Park Service (NPS) Work Environment Survey January-March 2017."
Dear National Parks Service Director,
Writer Wallace Stegner once said of America's National Parks: "National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."
Right now, our national parks aren't reflecting us at our best. Sexual harassment runs rampant without repercussions for those responsible, and support for victims is absent within the NPS.
No human being should be subjected to sexual harassment within the workplace. No human being should be forced to be silent about such trauma in order to keep their job. No human being should be living in fear, particularly of something they've worked so hard to protect.
The National Parks Service has failed the women who have dedicated their lives to America's parks.
These women need a place to turn. The NPS has had nothing to offer them and let pleas for help go ignored for years.
I urge you to make the healing of these wounds your top priority, and to develop and implement a cost-free program for victims harassed and silenced within the NPS.