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Idiots 
9th-Sep-2010 05:10 pm
Rage - ANTM
I have heard THREE different stories in the last week about women being sexually assaulted at the con this year by non-con-goers. I can't believe I have to say this, but THIS IS NOT COOL. I'm seriously reconsidering coming to the con next year, which would make the first time in 10 years that I've missed. There seriously needs to be some negotiating with the host hotels to keep the non-DragonCon people in line and protect the women who attend the con. I for one want to see a policy change and word from DragonCon as to what they are doing next year to protect my safety if I come to the con again *before* I make plans to attend.
Comments 
9th-Sep-2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
It makes me furious. On another thread, I suggested the formation of a Dragon*Con Brute Squad:

http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/2537109.html?thread=27427477#t27427477
9th-Sep-2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Wait, what? do you have links to stories? holy shit! : (
9th-Sep-2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sorry, you'll have to take my word for it. I'm not outing people on the chance that some dumbass decides to shame victims for what they were wearing (con-legal clothes in all cases), where they decided to be (not in their hotel room after 8 pm), or who they decided to associate with (not surrounded by burly males). There's another comment below this that describes a situation, and hopefully more people will be able to describe what happened to themselves without fear, but I'm not making that choice for them.
9th-Sep-2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
J, I have heard more than 3.
Several from people I know and stories from friends of friends.
Not one of the guys had a badge from what I have heard from friends, but several were in the Marriott Atrium area and followed them into the elevators which really upset me.
Or tried to in one case. He was too drunk and lost his balance so she pushed the door closed button.
How he was left to walk around the Atrium I have no idea!
9th-Sep-2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
Nothing to do with anything, but nice Kahlen icon. I loved her in that shoot.

As for your post, I said the same thing in the Master Post. Clear cut rules to be outlined and it warranted, a booting from the con for the harassment and assault. It has to be written down so there are clear rules and guidelines. It'll make it easier to maintain a what-to-do. I remember that there was a suggestion for room place for reporting this sort of behavior (all of the inappropriate and criminal activities) written in the guide several years ago when SDCC went through similar complaints and community awareness. I think it's a very good idea to put that sort of thing out there.
9th-Sep-2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
It's time Dragon*Con gets onto this page with a full anti-harassment policy. They can borrow from other cons' policies, even.

Enforcement would be a bear, though.
9th-Sep-2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
This past Dragon*Con was my first. I came to Atlanta with my husband, but he stayed in the hotel room most of the time because he doesn't like huge crowds. However, I made sure that where ever I went that I wasn't by myself, especially at night. Thank goodness for trusted friends and strength in numbers!
10th-Sep-2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
I hope your opinion isn't tainted by this year. This year was abnormally bad. It's usually not like this. In my opinion, if we can get rid of the football people, it will instantly get much much better.
9th-Sep-2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Totally agree.

I saw one of the Football Fans put his hand inside a Princess Leia costume. This kind of stuff can not be allowed to keep happening. The vast majority of troublemakers I saw had no badges and were football fans. Which is sad because I did meet a couple that were awesome dudes and were planning to come to DragonCon next year even if there was no football game.
10th-Sep-2010 01:58 am (UTC)
I believe I heard the victim of this incident talking about this later. Seriously unacceptable.
9th-Sep-2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Some of the GT football fans at the sailboat bar were pretty rude to my group of friends. I haven't encountered anything else, but it seems like there were all kinds of issues (fire, this, etc) with the con this year.
10th-Sep-2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
All seriousness aside, Lum is awesome.
9th-Sep-2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
FYI, all, unwanted touching of any sort is BATTERY, and therefore arrestable. Touch some naughty bits through or under clothing and that is Sexual Battery, even worse. Don't report it to the con, report it to the police and get the asses thrown in the clink where they belong.
9th-Sep-2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
This was my take, exactly. I thought almost everyone has a cellphone on them at the con. If not, then everyone should start carrying. You can take the creep's picture, and then call the cops.
9th-Sep-2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I'd love to see more people providing back up to other congoers.
9th-Sep-2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
I missed getting the Back Up ribbon at Dragon*Con. I wanted to, so badly, after I saw them. I would have totally used it. But I didn't even know what it was, which I learned about when I met someone in line.
9th-Sep-2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I didn't hear anything like this, but there were a couple of young men on the upper smoking patio at one point on Sunday night (I think) claiming they came down for a cigarette, didn't bring hotel keys and security was checking people without badges for keys. I thought they were not with the con crowd (and of course didn't help them get in).

There was also a seriously inebriated man on the same patio on Saturday or Sunday night who passed out there. Medics came out to assist him pretty quickly. I'm not sure if he was a con-goer either, but wasn't wearing a badge or any sort of stuff that we see con folks in, like a related t-shirt (but he could have been a badgeholder, I don't know.) The response was very quick, though.
10th-Sep-2010 03:54 am (UTC)
He may have had a few but he is a diabetic and hadn't eaten so he looked totally toasted but he was slipping into a diabetic coma
9th-Sep-2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
One of my friends was flat out assaulted by several footballers and it really upset all of us, obviously. The rest of the con we were all worried for everyone's safety.
I actually had something dropped on my head from one of the balconies in the Marriott saturday night. Had it been any larger an item, I could have been really hurt. Not exactly the same as what happened to my friend, but still upsetting.
I have heard that the footballers have gotten a hold of the DCon hotel code and that they are booking many rooms, thus rendering solving the problem by closing the hotel to room keys and badges only after dark completely moot.
It also seems there was a doc that aired on PBS and it exposed DCon to a lot of people who did not know about it before. While that can be great in many ways, it obviously brings the con to the attention to people who want to look and point, as well as cause trouble.
I really hope there is some way this can all be sorted as I have always felt safe and free at the con before this but now don't

Edited at 2010-09-10 12:39 am (UTC)
10th-Sep-2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I stayed at the Marriott on the 41st floor. I ran outside my room to hear what shattered and apparently two idiots had tossed a plate off their floor(43-44?) and it smashed almost right in front of my door. I'm just glad they didn't kill anyone. I did see them same two pricks throw a bottle, or something like it off their floor right down into the middle of the Marriott. I tried to yell "Watch Out" but I doubt my voice made it very far over the crowd. I noticed that Hotel security had seen the two individuals and I hope they managed to apprehend them both. I can't believe people this year, those two idiots could have killed somebody.
9th-Sep-2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
I'd like to see the Con, and Con-security, organize some sort of citizen's watch type of thing. I'll wear a sticker or something on my badge that identifies me as someone willing to help if someone is being harassed, following whatever parameters con-security gives me so that I don't jeopardize my ability to stay and enjoy the con. (If someone was in genuine trouble then of course I wouldn't worry about my ability to stay at the con, I would do what I could to help regardless). I even wonder if con security could hold a 1 hour session at the beginning of the con or on Thursday or some such giving con-goers who are volunteers to help guidelines to follow.
9th-Sep-2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I suspect the Con won't do anything to acknowledge the problem, because then they could be held legally responsible if things end up in court.
9th-Sep-2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
I was just discussing this with my boyfriend. His thought was, why does the con not have hired security? For example off duty police officers could be hired for security. I understand there may be issues concerning some things about whether the con itself or individual hotels are responsible. But something more than what is going on now clearly needs to be done. Illegal activities, such as sexual assault, should not be tolerated. Preventative measures should be taken. We need a fair amount of easy to identify qualified security staff that we also can access easily.
9th-Sep-2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
Well, there is hotel security, but it doesn't seem as though they really differentiate much between D*C and non-D*C people. I did see them frogwalk some guy out of the hotel on Saturday night, and he didn't appear to be a con-goer from what I could see.

The security folks did attempt some rather absurd non-sensical approach of trying to empty the Pulse lounge area around 1am on Saturday night. This didn't succeed, and seemed more than a bit dumb. Supposedly it was because some asshat threw a hotel phone over the balcony onto the Atrium floor, and the fire marshall freaked out and wanted them to shut everything down. Now, call me crazy, but it seems they should have been looking for the idiot who pitched the thing over the rail rather than punishing the con-goers who were minding their own business TYVM.

I'm all about security, and there was certainly a presence there, but it seems to me they weren't exactly acting all that smart about it to my mind.
9th-Sep-2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
I was one of the women assaulted by non-badged attendees. I recently posted a recap on my journal & am copying and pasting:

WARNING: POSSIBLE ASSAULT MEMORY TRIGGERS

Around 2am that night I was ready to go to bed so I left my friend with two new guy friends & went to get the elevator on the 10th floor level. Since I was only 2 floors down and in my own hotel I didn’t worry about walking alone. When I came around the corner I walked into a VERY rowdy group of about 15 male LSU fans & one frmale ‘wrangler who didn’t seem drunk. I immediately got a bad vibe & turned to walk back to Ash but one guy came jumping up to me and yelled ‘I have GOT to get a picture with you!’ I politely declined saying I had already took my boots off and was headed to bed but he pouted and said please so I smiled and said ok, just a quick pic. He must not have heard me say ok because he started getting pissy about it and I said ‘I already said ‘ok’, keep being pissy and forget it.’ He called a friend with a camera over and slid his arm around the right side of my waist.

At this point he started looking directly at my chest and saying vulgar things about it while another of his friends got on my left side and put his arm around my wiast from there. The rest of the group came up behind me with the one girl standing with the photographer for a moment before wandering around the otherside of the elevators (I think). At this point the guy on my right said something along the lines of he wanted to put his face in my cleavage (not the wording he used) & when I said no he argued with me & at that point I tried to extract myself with no luck; I can’t get away since they are all holding me. Next thing I know the guy on my left has his face in my chest and he’s licking and biting my left breast. Cue me freaking out since I’m alone with 15 guys holding me so I can’t leave & one has his face in my chest.

I punched the guy on the left in the face & he jerked up screaming as he let go of me. The guy on the right let go in surprise I think from seeing the blood on his friends face. Thankfully just at that moment I saw an elevator door closing and a bunch of DragonCon goers (rather than LSU fans) on there so I bolted on there just as the doors closed. Had a bit of a breakdown in the back of the elevator while riding down having forgotten to press the button for my floor. Thank goodness I did thought because a few floors down two of my real friends got on & were able to take me back to my room. Not sure AI would have made it by myself.

I first went to DragonCon 11 years ago. NEVER have I ever felt threatened by anyone there. I’ve worn skimpier outfits. I’ve walked back and forth between hotels alone (never more than the Hyatt and Marriott though). I may be a little bit better off with my MP training & more confident than other women but hell; I never thought I’d have to use it. I’m LIVID that this happened. Yes, I was really upset and scared that night but by the next morning I was just MAD. Filed a report with Dcon security but unfortunately since I didn’t stick around to try and drag the guy to justice I don’t know who did it. I couldn’t even really tell you what the guy on my left looked like since the guy on my right was the one talking to me the whole time. So anyways. I will be making sure DraognCon and the Marriott does something about this for the next years.

Edited at 2010-09-09 11:35 pm (UTC)
10th-Sep-2010 12:07 am (UTC)
Son of a... What a disgusting asshole! I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope you broke his damn nose!
9th-Sep-2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I was cross-playing as Sgt. Pepper and I got hit repeatedly by a guy dressed as a box of french fries.

I was walking in front of him and he hit me three times on the top of the head. I whirled around and told him sternly "Do. Not. Touch!" I made the mistake of turning my back on him and he hit me again. I turned around again to face him and told him to stop. It was the first time I have been afraid for my safety in the 11 years I have been attending.

Luckily, two women came up to me wanting pictures and french-fry left calling me a word that rhymes with witch.

After that incident, I made sure I traveled with a group.
9th-Sep-2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
Did you report him to hotel security or the police? A guy dressed up as a box of French fries should have been pretty easy for them to find.
9th-Sep-2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Not to paint all of the football fans as devils, or the D*C peeps as angels, but it sure did seemt that most of the trouble happening on Saturday/Sunday nights was from the drunken football fans. Maybe we need to see about having some D*C only lounge areas that you can only get access to with a badge.
10th-Sep-2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Seriously. Any ballrooms or large conference rooms not being used for late-night activities, I would be all for cash bars and various seating. A lot of the tracks have themed parties, but sometimes they're more theme and less party. I stopped by the Last Party on Alderaan (Star Wars track) and it seemed pretty awesome, but others have been meh.

Closed off rooms with badge-only access, with good lighting, cash bars, and a "seen and be seen" theme might go a long way to help keep our activities D*C only, and to help cut down the congestion in the Marriott Atrium.
10th-Sep-2010 12:03 am (UTC)
On Saturday evening I was assaulted while my fiance was getting pictures taken. I was in a steampunk costume that involved suede chaps, however everything my my wrists and neck was covered, I have been assaulted previously (not at con) and I didn't want to worry about it happening again. Two men dressed as Bleach characters kept walking behind me and grabbing my rear.

I told them to not touch me, and to leave me alone and went to move toward where my fiance was. One of them grabbed my waist and I start yelling and kicked the man holding me in the shin. My fiance heard me and came toward me and then men left. Even though they were in close proximity I never got a good view of their faces and this year it was like every fifth person was a Bleach character.

I told my friends I was feeling ill and my fiance and I stayed in our hotel room for a majority of Sunday and for the rest of the con I was glued to my fiance.
10th-Sep-2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Holy Cow these posts keep getting worse. Thanks for posting though as to illustrate that it was not just dicks in street clothes and people passable as footballers that were acting like this.

There was something in the water this year. Bad juju all the way around. I actually considered Saturday night packing up and going home early.

Im sorry this happened to you, and others. Luckily all we had to deal with was getting hassled repeatedly for spare change.
10th-Sep-2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Guys, I believe that from now on, you should not have access to the ConCode for the hotels until you book a pre-reg badge.

ALL non-con/ non-hotel guests should be kept out of ALL host hotels ALL THE TIME, or at least from 6pm on.

Finally, Dragon*Con staff needs to grow a pair and make some serious demands on, especially, the Mariot, which was full of football fans who could not behave. If they are going to let football hooligans stay in the hotel, they HAVE to be responsible for security.

Also, I would really, REALLY encourage all of you who had bad experiences to report these to the police. If there are in-hotel incidences reported, the hotels WILL be more likely to repond with posting more security, keeping these asshats out when they aren't there, and taking care of the bullshit when they ARE there.

I swear to god, I'm glad I was carrying my snake head cane. It's not a sword, but by God I will beat a bastard to death if he so much as THINKS about assaulting me or ANY OF THE REST OF YOU.
10th-Sep-2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Great ideas! I especially like the idea of only badge buyers knowing the codes. Of course it would take only one dumb badge purchaser to let his football roommate or friend know the code and then that guy would spread it to all the footballers and we'd be right back at the same place :(

We should let the hotels know how unhappy we are with them booking the football fans with us,, money talks..
10th-Sep-2010 12:24 am (UTC)
The thing to remember if you find your self in this situation is to yell for help and draw as much attention to the situation as possible. We as a Con Community should always respond to cries for assistance. I can promise you that if I'm near I will respond to protect the person in peril.
10th-Sep-2010 12:29 am (UTC)
As one of the assaulted (on the elevator no less by several drunk jocks), I second this.

I've been going to cons for 7 years now, and this is the first time an incident like this has happened to me (& I used to cosplay Slave Leia!).

Seriously, let's tighten up the security Dragon*Con.

*edit* FYI, everything but my jaw & wrists were covered, so it wasn't like I was 1/2 naked or anything (though that shouldn't matter either!)


Edited at 2010-09-10 01:07 am (UTC)
10th-Sep-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Exactly. I am SO tired of these damned jocks walking around the con, with the thought "HEY! THERE'S HOT CHICKS IN LITTLE CLOTHING, AND SHIT TONS OF BOOZE! LET'S GO!"

I've noticed it worsen these past 2 years. This year it was even worse. The 7 years I've been going to DCon, I haven't had nearly as bad as a problem, then the past two years, with over abundance of VOMIT and disgusting drunk people in my face. Its ridiculous! And now to hear about all the stories that all these poor girls were sexually accosted!

DCon/the hotels need to do something about this. If we can't feel safe after all the money we throw in to Dragon-con. Or the fact that we can't have a good time...what the hell is the point??
10th-Sep-2010 12:30 am (UTC)
I didn't go to D*C this year, but there are enough things here that makes me wonder when the first lawsuit will happen if there are not steps taken for the safety of the event overall.

Because there is that chance. This is a hint, Powers That Be.

Plus, I would recommend people not just making complaints here. Send letters to D*C management, hotel management, the City of Atlanta, anybody that could possibly be influenced. In writing, not by email.

...but hey, what do I know, right? I haven't been since 2007, but this isn't giving much incentive to want to come back, and I come with my own security (husband).
10th-Sep-2010 12:33 am (UTC)
I had my husband with me - and the one time we were separated (on an elevator) that's when my incident happened. I had to threaten to shove my 4inch stiletto up the guy's rear to get him to back off & stop grabbing my breasts. :/

The thing is, I shouldn't have to depend on my husband to feel safe. I mean, what about the gals who don't have Sig. Others there to "protect" them. :(
10th-Sep-2010 12:31 am (UTC)
I hear a lot of complaints about "non-fans" being disruptive and worse, but.. can we be certain that they weren't D*C attendees? Some of the reports are of people in costume, some aren't. I rarely carried my badge if I wasn't going to a con event, and didn't wear a costume- I could easily have been mistaken for a non-fan myself.

If they WERE other, non-D*C hotel guests, then the only option lies with the hotels- D*C needs to book the entire hotel for the con, and needs to do a better job of safeguarding the hotel codes and somehow policing the hotel's use of them. Otherwise, sickening as it is, the hotels have agreed to let these people into the space and the con can't keep them out. D*C AND the hotels need to hire additional security. There's no excuse for sexual assault, vandalism, and deliberately breaking elevators. We need more than just traffic control.

Either way, D*C did not feel like a fannish safe space this year. I'm giving it one more year, and if the overcrowding and hostile nighttime atmosphere doesn't improve in 2011, I won't be back.
10th-Sep-2010 12:43 am (UTC)
As for others booking the hotel at con rates but not being attendees, all the hotel has to do is require they show proof of con membership during the stay or they get charged full price for their stay,, this would stop the footballers from grabbing DC rooms.

As for me, I wore my badge every time I left my room.
10th-Sep-2010 12:33 am (UTC)
While I wasn't sexually assaulted or molested in any way,(and I'm so very horrified to hear that there were several who were!) I do recall when walking back from the Marriott to the Hyatt on Saturday night at street level *with my husband*, this stupid young punk wearing a t-shirt and underwear jumped in between us and then moved in front of me dancing around like an idiot. I simply gave him the dirtiest look I could come up with, walked around him and rejoined my husband. Later, my husband said there was a whole group of them doing that. I didn't think about it at the time, but maybe I should have reported him...
10th-Sep-2010 12:45 am (UTC)
I saw those guys. I had to very very sternly tell then NOT to touch my friend. They backed down pretty quickly but what an annoying bunch.
10th-Sep-2010 12:37 am (UTC)
As huge as this con is, THERE IS NO REASON the entire hotels are not reserved for Con attendees ONLY. Every room would be booked by us. Most of the attackers in this thread are NON con attendees. The only way to stop it is to not let these clowns book rooms during the con. There's really no reason to have immature football types in the same hotel as us.

I'm not sure about the other hotels, but the Hyatt DOES have Atlanta Police on site most of the time.

I did notice after Friday night, that they started badge checks at all the main hotel entrances to keep out the riff-raff, but this would not stop anyone with a room at the hotel.

Please Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton,,give all your rooms to Dragon*Con attendees only, at least for safety's sake..

Any one with a badge that does any of these things should be reported to con security and their badges will be revoked.
10th-Sep-2010 12:41 am (UTC)
THIS.

This would solve most of the problems. Keep the football people OUT!
10th-Sep-2010 12:41 am (UTC) - This is a really minor thing, but...
My wife and I were having lunch at the Hyatt buffet on Saturday when someone spit on me from the balcony. I have no idea whether it was a congoer or someone else, and I was just grossed out (and pissed off because I wanted to wear my SGA shirt to the panel), but I thought I'd mention it as another instance of people behaving badly.
10th-Sep-2010 12:45 am (UTC) - Re: This is a really minor thing, but...
On Sunday afternoon, someone threw ketchup packets onto the Marriott atrium-level lobby from one of the floors above. It was from a high enough floor that they splattered when they hit.
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