While on a United Airlines flight, a teenage girl was groped. After reporting the traumatic incident to staff, they looked at her outfit and put the blame on her, claiming it was her fault for wearing something provocative.
When Chelsea Schiffel was 15 years old, she claims to have been sexually assaulted by an elderly man while flying from Los Angeles to Sydney with her family. The most troubling aspect of the incident however, is not the physical attack itself but rather how United Airlines handled it afterwards.
It all started when Chelsea’s mother Narelle went to speak with a family member seated in the back of the plane. It was at this point that an older male passenger allegedly touched her breasts twice.
When it was reported to airline staff members, they refused to provide different seating arrangements so that they could feel safe for the remainder of the flight. Instead, according to Chelsea, they blamed her choice of clothing- which can be found on her social media accounts – for even having allowed such an incident to happen in the first place.
In a letter obtained by News Corp., United Airlines denied any negligence on their part regarding this matter. They further stated that Chelsea had often moved in and out of her seat with extremely short shorts and crawled over other passengers who were trying to sleep.
Understandably upset about this response, Chelsea felt as though they were implying she had asked for it due to what she wore while travelling.
Though there is no denying that women should never be subjected to inappropriate touching regardless of what they are wearing, we must also remember that other passengers should also not be disturbed or inconvenienced during their journey either – especially if it is done intentionally or without consideration for those around them.
At its core then perhaps this case has less to do with clothes and more with adhering basic principles like respect for others space and privacy as well as following The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?