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During Sexual Assault  and Prevention Month—and National Crime Victims Week—the FBI Reminds  the Flying Public About Sex Assaults on Airplanes

☷During Sexual Assault and Prevention Month—and National Crime Victims Week—the FBI Reminds the Flying Public About Sex Assaults on Airplanes

Federal Bureau of Investigation
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   April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and the FBI is once again taking this opportunity to alert the public about a serious federal crime that is on the rise: sexual assault aboard aircraft . While sexual assault can happen anywhere , many people who fly while traveling do not realize that sex assaults can and do occur on airplanes . “Kristi K . Johnson , the assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said , “Most passengers travel by air without incident , but if you or a loved one encounter what you believe is physical or verba......l sexual misconduct , immediately alert your flight attendant . Flyers should take precautions and always be aware of their surroundings . ”In each of its 56 field offices , the FBI has airport liaison agents ( ALA ) assigned to the nearly 450 U . S . aviation facilities that have passenger screening operations regulated by the Transportation Security Administration ( TSA ) . The ALAs respond to crime aboard aircraft , a violation which falls within the FBI’s special investigative jurisdiction . In larger airports including Los Angeles International Airport ( LAX ) , multi - agency task forces are on location to investigate a variety of criminal and national security matters , from sexual assaults to terrorism and espionage . National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month PSA ( FBI Los Angeles ) April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month . While sex assault can happen anywhere , many people don ' t realize that they can and do occur on airplanes . Most passengers travel by air without incident , but if you or a loved one encounter sexual misconduct , whether physical or verbal , please alert your flight attendant immediately . The FBI investigates crimes aboard aircraft , including sexual assaults . In Los Angeles , you can reach out to the FBI 24 hours a day at 310 - 477 - 6565 or at fbi . gov . Transcript / Visit Video SourceSexual assault aboard aircraft is a felony which can be punishable by prison . Many incidents are not reported immediately , or not reported at all . Law enforcement urges anyone who believes they have been sexually assaulted to alert a member of the flight crew . While sexual assaults were reported during 2020 and 2021 , passengers were separated on many flights and less people were flying . As COVID restrictions have eased; however , more people are flying and all airplane seats are made available on most airlines . For these reasons , agents expect to see an increase in reported sexual assaults . In - flight sexual assaults generally occur on longer flights and when the cabin is dark . The victims are usually in middle or window seats , sleeping , and covered with a blanket or jacket . Victims report waking up to find the perpetrator’s hands inside their clothing or underwear . Many passengers may consume alcohol or take prescription drugs to relax or sleep , and this can both lend a false sense of security and may tempt offenders who find these victims vulnerable . In addition , offenders are known to take advantage of the fact that some victims might not report an incident because they are embarrassed , don’t want to cause a scene , or may try to convince themselves the assault was accidental . Below are suggested precautions passengers can take before and during their flight . Trust your gut . Offenders will often test their victims , sometimes pretending to brush against them to see how they react or if they wake up . If such behavior occurs , establish boundaries and consider asking to be moved to another seat . Recognize that mixing alcohol with sleeping pills or other medication on an overnight flight increases your risk . If your seatmate is a stranger , no matter how polite he or she may seem , keep the armrest between you down . If you are arranging for a child to fly unaccompanied , try to reserve an aisle seat so flight attendants can keep a closer watch on them . Minors are known targets . If an incident happens , report it immediately to the flight crew and ask that they record the attacker’s identity and report the incident . They can alert law enforcement , if necessary . Timely notification to law enforcement is key . Crime aboard aircraft is more difficult to investigate once days , or even hours , have passed following the incident since witnesses depart and recollections fade . If alerted in advance , FBI agents can be on hand when the plane lands to conduct interviews and take subjects into custody . FBI victim specialists can respond as well because victims of federal crimes are entitled by law to a variety of services . If law enforcement is not able to respond on the ground , victims are encouraged after landing to contact the nearest FBI office . In Los Angeles , the FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 310 477 - 6565 . Tips can also be submitted online at tips . fbi . gov .


01 May 2022 ( May 01 2022 )



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During Sexual Assault  and Prevention Month—and National Crime Victims Week—the FBI Reminds  the Flying Public About Sex Assaults on Airplanes
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