This Philadelphia Business has Created a Wearable Panic Button to Protect Hotel Workers from Sexual Assault

Nationwide, there’s a push to make hotel, casino, and restaurant workers safer from on-the-job sexual harassment, thanks to expanding passage of legislation that requires companies to provide individual panic buttons to its workers.

One Philadelphia business — ROAR for Good — is part of that movement. Its cofounder, Yasmine Mustafa, knows firsthand the vulnerabilities faced by workers in the hospitality industry. She spent 14 years in low-end jobs, many as an undocumented worker. What she encountered instilled in her a passion to work for the underserved.

In 1990, Mustafa, then 8 years old, and her family were evacuated from Kuwait when Saddam Hussein’s troops invaded. One of her brothers had been born in the United States and was therefore a U.S. citizen, which allowed the family to immigrate here. It wasn’t until Mustafa applied to college that she realized she was not a U.S. citizen. Without a Social Security number, she could only get jobs at places whose employees were paid under the table.

“I experienced a lot of unsafe conditions” at the restaurants where she worked, said Mustafa, 37, who is now an American citizen and Temple University alumna. Sexual harassment was at the top of the list.

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