Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » I feel like airport security just assaulted me.

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: I feel like airport security just assaulted me.
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm just in the airport trying to get back home to London from Belfast, and I guess security is more invasive here than in London? I got pulled aside for a "random" patdown, and the guy who pulled me aside repeated the word "random" with his eyebrows raised and I felt like he was laughing at me. The woman who did the patdown put her hands on my breast forms and genitals, and put them inside my jeans and under the band of my underwear. I feel really violated at the minute and I feel like I'm in shock, this is giving me flashbacks to when my first boyfriend assualted me. I'm waiting to get on my flight now and I feel really freaked out.
Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some security checks are proving to be very triggering for a lot of people. [Frown]

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this right now.

It sounds like you also have the sense that the way your check was done has to do with your gender. I'm sure that right now, you probably don't want to do anything to hold up getting out of there and getting home -- if you don't care about that, I'd suggest reporting this now -- but when you get back home, you can certainly still file a complaint.

What can we do to get you through in the meantime?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you so much for getting to me so quickly. I haven't got on my flight yet, I'm still pretty freaked. Do you have like a link to something reaffirming my right not to be assaulted like this? I don't mean legally, but like a poem or something. I'm sure I know some but I'm struggling to think straight and I think that might be helpful.

I'm going to go see about complaining now.

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you so much for getting to me so quickly. I haven't got on my flight yet, I'm still pretty freaked. Do you have like a link to something reaffirming my right not to be assaulted like this? I don't mean legally, but like a poem or something. I'm sure I know some but I'm struggling to think straight and I think that might be helpful.

I'm going to go see about complaining now.

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh my Gosh Jay! I'm so sorry this happened.

Transport security are notoriously horrendous with rape survivors and trans* folks.

Relax. Get some (overpriced) water and have a sit down. It sounds like your being terribly triggered right now. Is there anything to take your mind off it? A Magazine? Music? Someone you can call?

It may be that they have less checks for how they actually treat people at that airport. I'm here to talk you through it.

--------------------
~ Saffy
Scarleteen Volunteer

To my Abuser: I'm seeing stars. I bet you can't do that.

Posts: 1265 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't think of anything off the top of my head, I'm sorry.

But I think it's a given that EVERYONE has the right to safety and bodily autonomy. Yes, if we choose to do things like travel, with some security bits, we do opt-in to certain things that don't give us that autonomy, but at the same time, any security check should ALWAYS be about safety, for everyone, INCLUDING any person being screened.

ANY person. That means YOU.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's actually a ton of controversy about this at the moment.

This isn't a poem or anything, but someone called Miss Dallas went through something a little similar:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42805551/ns/travel-news/t/former-miss-usa-feels-violated-tsa-pat-down/

--------------------
~ Saffy
Scarleteen Volunteer

To my Abuser: I'm seeing stars. I bet you can't do that.

Posts: 1265 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Ray. Yes, I've read that article before and seen her video, I think that is very similar to how I feel.

I went and complained at security, they refused to apologise and said that from my description the agent acted correctly, which just seems bizarre to me. I'm making them run the CCTV footage so that I can get the person's name.

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ugh.

Good on you for getting a name, though. When you get back to London, I'd suggest connecting with a good trans-rights support org with this, okay?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay. I'm not sure if I know who that would be but I can find out when I get home.

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm also happy to help you look.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That would be great, thanks. [Smile] I just got the two people's names so I think that I have done all I need to at the moment?

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds good to me. I'd also just, while it's fresh in your mind, jot down all the info you can about this: what happened, the date and time you went through, etc.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Btw, know you're probably in transit right now, and I'm doing a little crowdsourcing to see if there is a good resource I'm missing, but looking around, this is who I'd suggest talking to: http://www.pfc.org.uk/

Extra bonus: looks like they're very well linked up with all the other supporting orgs, so if they're not just right, I'm sure they can send you to who is.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you so much Heather. I just got into my house. I've written everything down and I can post it here if it's useful?

I've looked at that website and I'll write to them, but I don't think the way the patdown was carried out has much to do with my gender, or I don't have evidence of that. When I went to complain a supervisor explained that I was chosen randomly by computer for a pat down. I think part of why I was so upset has to do with my gender, though, as well as being a sexual assault survivor.

Can you tell me what about the situation made you think is a trans rights issue specifically? I might not be understanding it very clearly.

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I heard back from my crowdsourcing too and got a direct recommendation for them.

Well, it sounds like they treated what is effectively your prosthesis far differently than they would have were it about someone's disability. For instance, let's try this: do you think with someone they read as cis who has prosthetic breasts due to breast cancer they'd have been the same way?

Also, I am trusting your own feelings and instincts here, and also working with the unfortunate knowledge that trans people are sexually harassed and assaulted more often than cis people. radically more. But I'd really check this with an org like the one I suggested: this is going to be a big part of what they do, after all.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Do you think with someone they read as cis who has prosthetic breasts due to breast cancer they'd have been the same way?
I felt like they wouldn't have handled breasts that way at all, to be honest, I felt like I was being looked at as if what was strapped to my chest was suspicious, but that might be me internalizing things. I don't really have a way of knowing how it would have been with cis people's prosthetic breasts.

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's the thing (and where I tell you things you already know, but think maybe you just need to hear): in a world or a culture where abuse or harassment against whatever group we are part of is normalized -- and in your case, you're talking at least three: women, trans people, young people -- it is so, so easy to take our gut feelings and figure they MUST be wrong, we're just making it up, etc.

But then we have to ask ourselves: why on earth would we, or anyone else, WANT to have been assaulted or harassed? Of course we wouldn't.

Gut feelings and instincts? They're valuable and powerful. leading with them is always sound, and as an advocate, I'm always going to trust those coming from someone.

You felt harassed. You were reminded of a sexual assault. And I'm willing to bet that was for good reason.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
You felt harassed. You were reminded of a sexual assault. And I'm willing to bet that was for good reason.
Totally. There's a lot of this I don't have clear in my head yet, but this is the first thing I know - that it was sexual assualt and that I'm really upset.

When I powered up my computer straight after to look for help, my best friend told me right away that this is the person's job and being frisked isn't a big deal. I was upset about that and I told her so, but I felt like I had been dismissed.

I think part of me feels like because I'm the person who changed my body it's my fault when I now find being touched upsetting. I feel fake.

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, one thing that is the job of anyone working in that kind of security is sensitivity. And it is ABSOLUTELY their job not to harass or assault anyone.

Now, what's not your job -- or your friend's, unless this is their job in the world -- is to legally determine what this was or what can be legally done about it. But what legal help can do is help figure that out for and with you, and they will most certainly know what the parameters are here.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay. I'm going to write to them in the morning, I'm ready for bed here. Thank you for helping me out tonight, it's been a hell of a day. [Frown]

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No doubt. I'm so, so sorry this happened to you today, and while traveling, no less, which is always plenty stressful all by itself. [Frown]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Redskies     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
patrickvienna, I'm so sorry this happened to you. That's horrible.

Even on a "standard/by the book" frisking/search, if that makes some of us feel uncomfortable, traumatised or triggered, then it Is a big deal. Just because it's a standard part of someone else's work doesn't mean that it's going to be a "shrug" kind of experience for us.

In case this info is helpful to you, as a cis woman, I've experienced UK airport frisks a number of times. Around my breasts, the woman doing the frisk has always used fingertips, hands pointing straight in front of her directly at me, and gone around each breast about in the same place as the wires of my bra. No actual touching of my breasts at all. Her hands go down over my stomach and back, still with fingertips here, and inside the waistband of my jeans (no further down than the waistband). Her hands, now flat, go on my hips and down over my thighs and calves to the floor, back up on the inside of my legs right to the very top of my inside leg. Absolutely no touching of my clothed genitals.

Another experience just to throw in here: I once flew out of a German airport with a money-belt under my clothes. At the security check, they felt it, and unsurprisingly, didn't like it. They have tiny booths for when privacy is needed, and I asked to go in one of those, and they did, no problem. I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge, a traveller in the UK has a right to ask for privacy during a security search.

If I remember, very dimly, correctly, they're not supposed to touch your genitals. They're also supposed to be sensitive when someone may have a prosthesis, and while they may still have to check that prosthesis, they're supposed to offer you privacy while they do so. The different treatment of your breast forms from that given to breasts makes me angry for you, and suspect, like Heather's said, that this shoddy and disgraceful treatment probably comes under the trans issues umbrella.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1443 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3