This past summer we helped launch a survey to better understand the results of sexual harassment and sexual assault (SHSA) in climbing. Over 5,000 climbers took the survey around the world and the results are staggering.
About 40% of women and 9% of men answered “yes” to the question “Have you experienced SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity?”
The survey also asked about more specific behaviors: have respondents experienced specific types of SHSA (e.g., unwanted touching, forced kissing, etc.). These more detailed questions revealed that 47% of women and 16% of men have experienced interactions that could be classified as SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity, even if they do not report it as such.
Looking at data from the United States alone, the numbers are similar in range as the global data:
42% of US women and 9% of US men answered “yes” to the question “Have you experienced SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity?”
50% of US women and 15% of US men reported experiencing behavior that that could be classified as SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity, even if they do not report it as such.
At the American Alpine Club, we know safety means more than a good belay. We strive to maintain a safe and non-hostile work environment for our employees, volunteers, and all participants at AAC events. We also acknowledge that our role as a leader within the climbing community extends our responsibility to promote a safe and harassment-free environment among the entire climbing community.
AAC members and volunteer leaders are expected to serve as role models in the community. American Alpine Club will appropriately screen all staff and volunteer leaders prior to granting leadership positions. Reports of discriminatory and inappropriate behavior will be dealt with swiftly, seriously, and judiciously. Violations of our harassment and assault policy will include discipline up to and including termination of membership or employment at the AAC.
Learn more about what the data is telling us. and how climbing and outdoor communities around the world are doing to collect data, drive conversation, share best practices, provide press coverage and address the issues.