Teen Groped On Plane, Airline Blames The Outfit She Wore

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A teenage girl was groped on a United Airlines flight. When she reported what happened, they looked at her outfit and told her it was her own fault for wearing something so provocative. We have photos of how she likes to dress so you can decide for yourselves if she did anything wrong.

Chelsea Schiffel Groped On Plane, United Airlines Blames Her Outfit
Stock Image (Photo Credit: Lasse Fuss/Wikimedia Commons)

Chelsea Schiffel was just 15 years old when she claims an unnamed elderly man on a United Airlines flight groped her. The teen was traveling from Los Angeles to Sydney with her family when the incident took place. But, perhaps more troublesome than the physical assault was the way the airline handled it.

According to Chelsea, the chain of events was set into motion when her mother, 42-year-old Narelle, went to speak with a family member who was seated in the back of the plane and an older male passenger allegedly touched her breasts twice. After the teen told her mother what had happened, Narelle quickly reported the incident to airline staff members, but she didn’t get the type of response for which she had hoped.

Chelsea Schiffel Groped On Plane, United Airlines Blames Her Outfit
Chelsea Schiffel (Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail)

Demanding different seats so they could feel safe, the family was instead told to stay put, in their same seats, for the duration of the flight. According to the teen and her family, Chelsea was told that her short shorts were to blame for the incident for even having taken place.

In a letter to the family, which was eventually obtained by News Corp, United Airlines not only denied the family’s allegations but also criticized the teen’s choice of clothing, examples of which were found on the teen’s social media accounts.

Chelsea Schiffel Groped On Plane, United Airlines Blames Her Outfit
Chelsea Schiffel (Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail)

“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.”

Of course, 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. Meanwhile, attempts by the family to take legal action against United Airlines proved unsuccessful due to a lack of sufficient evidence that the incident even occurred.

Chelsea Schiffel Groped On Plane, United Airlines Blames Her Outfit
Chelsea Schiffel (Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail)

According to Chelsea Schiffel, what a woman wears should not bear any responsibility for any alleged sexual attack on them, and many would agree with her — but what about the woman’s alleged actions? While a child should never be touched in an inappropriate way, they also should not be climbing on other passengers, regardless of what they are wearing.

If it’s true that she was behaving in such a way, it’s easy to see how a startled stranger, who was simply trying to sleep, may have inadvertently and unintentionally touched the girl in a way he didn’t mean to do while simply trying to protect their own space. Perhaps the takeaway here has nothing to do with clothes, but rather a lot more to do with the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That includes keeping your hands and your body to yourself.