On November 12, Anna Nasset, Waitsfield, of Stand Up Resources, will speak to resort service industry leaders at Sugarbush Gate House Lodge about awareness of sexual assault, human trafficking and domestic violence in the service industry. The event is sponsored by Sugarbush and Mad River Glen resorts and hosted by the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Nasset founded Stand Up Resources in 2018 to provide training to organizations after being stalked for a decade. Her stalker was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to prison for 10 years for aggravated stalking and cyberstalking. Nasset said she had such a positive experience working with advocates that she wanted to create positive and supportive experiences for other victims. “I realized I had so many incredible people help me to make sure I was safe and I felt such a connection to all those people, whether it be advocates or prosecuting attorneys, that I decided I wanted to somehow move my career into that field.” She completed an eight-day training at Vermont Victims Assistance Academy in Waterbury and began speaking publicly.
She tells her story to educate service providers and other organizations. She has spoken at military bases, law enforcement agencies, conferences, community spaces and colleges and universities across the country, including Norwich University and Waitsfield United Church. During the pandemic, she has done international speaking engagements remotely. She is also scheduled to speak at Vermont Law School in November. The November 12 event at Sugarbush is the first time she’ll be sharing her story with service industry leaders. She hopes to bring her message to other resort communities.
Nasset has worked in the service industry since she was 16 and has witnessed harassment and abuse in the industry. “As I’ve moved into this field, I asked, ‘How do we as service industry staff respond to issues happening to our guests and customers?’ Sex trafficking happens at tons of hotels and domestic violence happens everywhere. We have guests who are experiencing that, guests who experience sexual assault. I started to go, ‘How can we as a community respond to that?’ Then additionally, ‘How do we as staff protect ourselves from inappropriate comments, the offers, the unwanted touching, all of those things that happen?’” She said it’s about “Teasing out how each establishment can empower each one of those managers to create their own plan around how to respond for your staff and customers, providing resources and tools to educate and create a safe environment here in The Valley, not just for our guests, but for all of us as well.”
She shares her own experiences to highlight the abuse and violence people can face across industries and how to address that. “It’s so easy to say that doesn’t happen here,” she said. The November 12 event is for service industry management who can take these lessons back to their businesses. “It does happen here, don’t turn a blind eye. Anybody who works in the service industry deserves to feel safe. Why are we saying to ourselves or to our staff, ‘Oh, just ignore it, it’s part of the job?’ I think that oftentimes people think ‘you are serving me, therefore, I can take advantage of you.’ People in the service industry are at a much more significant risk. It’s a very difficult thing to educate people on but it’s so important.”