NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 
OF AIRLINE PASSENGERS

Protecting you right to fly!

The "Enhanced" Pat-Down:

Sexual Assault at the Airport

The TSA has begun using an "enhanced" pat-down procedure for those who would rather not subject themselves to a full-body scan.

"To call it a pat-down is a euphemism," said a spokesman for the ACLU in Massachusetts. Previously, TSA screeners were required to use the back of their hands when searching sensitive regions. The enhanced pat-down rules allow them to use their palms and fingers to feel, twist, squeeze, and prod passengers.

For many men, women and children, this "enhanced pat down" is a traumatic experience. 

Former Miss USA Susie Castillo recorded her reaction to the TSA pat down, which brought her to tears:

Miss USA molested by TSA

Look at this little girls reaction to the pat down:

TSA "Pats Down" 3 Year Old

You are never too old for a pat down:

Like ‘Being Raped’: Elderly Woman Describes TSA Pat Down in St. Louis

“I was shaking and crying when I left that room” Moroney says.  “Under any other circumstance, if a person touched me like that without my permission, it would be considered criminal sexual assault.”

94-year-old upset by TSA pat down

"They groped her. All of her body. Her crotch, her breasts. And everything else," said son Joe Peterson.

Here is another womans' description of her pat down:

Woman Says TSA Screener Sexually Assaulted Her

Woman calls for police after being molested by TSA

Other passengers, especially women and children, have had similar experiences.

Common Reactions to Sexual Assault are as follows:

  • Shock, disbelief, numbness
  • Intense emotions; anger, fear, anxiety, depression
  • Extreme worries about safety
  • Inability to remember details about the assault
  • Difficulties sleeping, nightmares; fear of the dark
  • Feelings of being "damaged" or violated
  • Memories of previous trauma

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is...

  • A broad term that encompasses any forcible sexual activity that occurs without the victim's consent.
  • A range of behaviors that include, but are not limited to, unwanted kissing and fondling, forcible vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse, forcible vaginal, oral or anal penetration with an object or a finger.
  • A way for the perpetrator to exert power and control, not about "out of control" sexual desire.
  • Not gender specific. Sexual assaults can occur between a male and female, male and male, or female and female.
  • Against the law.
  • A violation of an individual's body.
  • It affects everyone including the victim, their family and friends.

Color of Law Abuses

"... it’s a federal crime for anyone acting under “color of law” willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive a person of a right protected by the Constitution or U.S. law. “Color of law” simply means that the person is using authority given to him or her by a local, state, or federal government agency."

"Sexual assaults by officials acting under color of law can happen in jails, during traffic stops, or in other settings where officials might use their position of authority to coerce an individual into sexual compliance. The compliance is generally gained because of a threat of an official action against the person if he or she doesn’t comply."

Coping with Crime Victimization

 

TSA's ERROR:

The TSA knows, or should know up to 1-in-4 women will experience rape or sexual assault in their life time, and that seventy percent of rape survivors physically resisted when the assault became violent.

The TSA knows, or should know, how states and colleges around the country define sexual assault (forcible sexual activity without the victim's consent). Nevertheless it has implemented an "enhanced pat down procedure" that would be regarded as sexual assault in normal circumstances.

The TSA knows, or should know, what the common reactions to sexual assault are, but unreasonably insists passengers not have these reactions, no matter how abusive their pat down may have been.

Even though the TSA knows, or should know by now, just how traumatic its pat downs and body scanners are to passengers, it nevertheless has adopted a policy of threats and intimidation towards anyone who objects to pat downs.

TSA knows, or should know that each of the States have laws protecting children from physical and sexual molestation by strangers, and these laws require parents to protect their children from harm.

Do pat-downs enhance security?

"The failure rate (for imaging equipment) is classified but it would absolutely knock your socks off," Mica told reporters. The number of times TSA pat-downs failed to detect contraband is also secret but, according to the chairman, is "off the charts." Read more

 

TSA needs to move away from pat downs, except in cases of reasonable cause, and remember that their job is to protect passengers, not abuse them.

 

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