Note: we are republishing this story to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault from an adult. More on this here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens
A teenage girl who said she was groped by an older man on a United Airlines flight was reportedly told her shorts were the cause.
Chelsea Schiffel, who was 15-years-old at the time, was traveling from Los Angeles to Sydney with her family, the Daily Mail reported.
According to Chelsea, her mother Narelle went to speak with a family member who was seated in the back of the plane when an older male passenger touched her breasts twice.
Narelle quickly reported the incident to airline staff members and demanded different seats, but the family was told to stay in their same seats for the remainder of the flight.
United Airlines denied the family’s allegations and criticized the teen’s choice of clothing, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"The flight attendants and passengers also stated that you and your daughter were allowed to move to other seats several times, that Chelsea repeatedly moved in and out of her seat, crawling over the other customer who was attempting to sleep, and that your daughter wore extremely short shorts," the letter read. "You have provided no evidence of any negligence on the part of United regarding this matter."
Chelsea took issue with the airlines' account of events.
"For me it comes across, by them saying that, [it] feels like they were telling me that I was asking for it,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
Attempts by the family to take legal action against United Airlines proved unsuccessful due to a lack of sufficient evidence that the incident occurred.