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Last week was a pretty bad week, my friends.
Had I called to say ‘I think the man next to me might have had a bomb or weapon’, you can be sure they’d have monitored him on the following flight. Let’s be real. These days you can have a suspicious haircut and be put on an airport watch-list.
I wasn’t asking for anyone’s rights to be denied. I didn’t expect them to confront or detain my assaulter. I was just asking that they exercise caution with a potentially dangerous passenger. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
But, I do understand that legally, Spirit didn’t break any laws. And whether or not I feel their response was timely or fair, they did have their media contact reach out to assist me the following day. Since then, they’ve refunded my flight and my parents’ upcoming flight… (supposedly, though I have yet to receive confirmation on these refunds from the bank). They arranged for me to sit up front and alone on my return trip, which was a much appreciated gesture. The media contact in charge of assisting me showed sympathy for what I had gone through, and explained they’d be looking into how and why my calls were handled so insensitively. So while, in the end, I lost days of my trip to fighting for their attention and response – days in which I should have been running my business or enjoying time with my family – I know there’s nothing they can do to undo my disappointment and those losses. And I accept their refunds and sympathy as the end of this…. all of this. I just want to move on with my life.
I still have not been followed up with by the police since filing my report. I understand that in cases of “he said, she said” there’s nothing the police can realistically do either. It’s likely that Jim may never even know that I filed a report against him, because without evidence or witnesses, it isn’t worth the police’s time to interview him about the alleged incident. Which sucks, because if nothing else, I’d like the fear of god put into that man in the hopes that it keeps him from striking again.
Ugh. I’m so disappointed. In…. oh, in pretty much everything about this event. Except for one thing.
The outpouring of supportive comments, the stories and sentiments shared by fellow survivors, the love and encouragement that I have seen over the past week has been absolutely incredible. If nothing else, I am proud for speaking up because it gave so many of you a chance to tell your tale as well. To know we’re not alone. And I hope that by my speaking up, even if it was “too late” for me, I might be helping a fellow reader not make the same mistake should they ever be assaulted. If there’s anything I’ve learned, its that no one can protect you but yourself.
Thank you all, again, for being there for me. Your support reminded me how much goodness exists in this world, at a time when I felt consumed by the darkness. Your honesty reminded me that I’m not alone, at a time when I felt like it was me vs. the world. I can’t express my appreciation for that enough.
So, while it feels entirely hypocritical to say so, and I wish to god that I could have taken my own advice…. take it from me:
If you are ever assaulted or in danger, speak up immediately. Go to the police first and foremost. Do not hesitate. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Demand the respect you deserve. Know that your body is your own and no one has the right to violate it. Speak up, loudly and immediately.
(…we will now return to our regularly scheduled programming)