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In the transparent #MeToo era, reports of harassment and indecent exposure on planes have highlighted the problem on social channels. According to research, the incidents of sexual misconduct on commercial flights rose by two-thirds between 2014 and 2017. As a public response to this alarming trend, Southwest Airlines has announced that it is making it easier for passengers to take charge of their safety by flagging down flight attendants and to expect immediate results.
The move by Southwest comes on the heels of many well-documented cases of passengers alleging exposure to sexual harassment during their work and recreational travels. Southwest will add its new rules regarding unwelcome behaviors to the preflight boarding announcements to ensure people know their rights. Per statements released by the top airline, Southwest hopes its efforts will promote a more secure atmosphere. Many victim advocates applaud this move and encourage other airlines to follow suit.
Some passenger behaviors fall into the category of mere annoyances, such as loud talking or personal grooming. However, the problems Southwest’s new system is tackling often govern contentious exchanges, discrimination, or sexual harassment. In fact, lawyers across the nation have begun working with clients to recover damages related to these types of encounters.
To date, many national court cases against major airlines have been filed by passengers who say they were victimized not just by a fellow flyer, but by flight attendants who showed little compassion. In one incident, a flyer claimed that after telling a flight attendant she had been sexually touched by a stranger, the stranger remained seated and she was forced to move. The result, said the flyer, was that she felt mistreated, which only compounded her negative experience.
Though Southwest has taken procedural strides to deal with unwelcome sexual advances and assaults between passengers, the company cannot mitigate the psychological damage that can come from being a victim.
People who have been sexually mistreated frequently report feelings of anger, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some require hospitalization and lengthy therapy to recover from what may seem like minor incidents to someone else. Plenty of people say that they can no longer enjoy their lives after being objectified or groped, making the experience a life-altering event.
It is important for victims of any unwanted sexual behaviors, whether they occur on a flight or not, to know that they have legal recourse to attempt to recover compensatory damages. They should not hesitate to speak with a local attorney about their options, even if they were treated fairly by flight attendants after reporting the behavior.
If you were sexually assaulted on a flight, contact the LA sexual abuse lawyers at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP right away. We will review your case and fight for the justice you deserve. Call us at 833-ACTS-LAW or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Los Angeles and San Diego, we serve clients throughout southern California.
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