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Hey Equinox: Stop Encouraging Sexual Assault!

This petition had 2,731 supporters

On August 4th, I reported serious sexual abuse at Equinox Fitness, one of the largest fitness chains in the world. In response, Equinox terminated the guilty instructor (who worked there for 10 years) but also banned me for having reported it.

The incident happened when an Equniox Yoga teacher stopped me from walking out after the end of a group class and asked me to stay behind for “extra help”.  What followed were instructions for “yoga poses” or “stretches” that I subsequently realized were an elaborate ruse to enable him to touch me inappropriately. 

I immediately reported the incident to Equinox’s CEO and management team as well as the police.  In light of the video evidence, the Equinox instructor was terminated.  The police said that based on the video I did absolutely nothing wrong and was simply following the deceptive instructions of a predatory teacher.   

There is a chilling effect created when giant corporations, like Equinox, punish people for reporting sexual assault.  I am not the first person to be sexually assaulted at Equinox and unfortunately I will not be the last.  Equinox is promoting sexual assault by fostering a culture of secrecy and stigma and deliberately ostracizing legitimate complainants.

Equinox is putting perceived profit maximization ahead of treating people properly.  Just because a corporation thinks they can avoid getting in trouble for something, that’s doesn’t make it fair, reasonable or just. Hundreds of thousands of people across multiple countries workout at Equinox every day and many are exposed one-on-one to Equinox’s 4500+ personal trainers and instructors.  

The Change I'm Seeking is as Follows:

  • Equinox must publicly commit to never again punishing any person for reporting sexual abuse
  • Equinox must review their policies and procedures for protecting members from sexual predators in yoga and elsewhere in the gym
  • If Equinox takes action against members, they must have the basic human decency to tell them why they are being punished or banned

I know what I experienced was nothing compared to the horrific incidents of sexual violence that happen every day.    But we cannot stand by while giant faceless corporations promote any type of sexual assault through unreasonable policies like membership bans for those of us who speak up. 

Join us by signing this petition and help fight corporation reprisal against people who report sexual assault

Colin Heilbut | | #EquinoxAssaults

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