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Why do we feel so powerless?

(8 Posts)
madamtremain Sun 12-Apr-15 17:54:29

At the airport today and as I walk through the security it beeped. A huge stern looking guy told me to get up on to a box and patted me down front and back. It happened so fast I didn't have chance to work out how to say no, or if I could. As he finished I broke down, grabbed my stuff and proceeded to have a panic attack.
I was raped when I was 19 and have never really dealt with it. My husband, who was with me fortunately, said "didn't you see the sign that said you could ask for a female guard?" I actually hadn't but very quickly retorted that even had I have done I would have felt completely powerless to ask for one.
I can't stop thinking about why?? I'm a confident, strong, grown woman! I think I would have felt like a prissy bitch who thinks every man wants her? The trouble maker? The inconvenience?
Am I right to be angry about how it all happened as well? There must be so many women in my situation who go through this?

StillLostAtTheStation Sun 12-Apr-15 21:05:28

Which airport was this? I more often than not set off the beeper (undedwired bras and jewellery ) and it's always a female officer.

Guidelines for UK airports attached.

www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/pat-downs

madamtremain Sun 12-Apr-15 23:03:58

I stupidly didn't name change so I'd rather not say but it wasn't UK or US, it was in Europe. I've google searches but can't find any laws.
Now I'm over the shock and upset I'm really angry that it all happened before I could do or say anything. It sounds stupid with all those people around and fully clothed but I felt violated and all the memories of the humiliation and helplessness came flooding back.

StillLostAtTheStation Sun 12-Apr-15 23:11:08

I would be surprised if airports in Europe, certainly those in EU countries, don't follow the same rules. You could try complaining to someone senior in the airport authority.

AWholeLottaNosy Sun 12-Apr-15 23:11:37

That sounds like a very upsetting and triggering experience for you. It happened so quickly you didn't really have time to react. The fact that you reacted so strongly to it afterwards does indeed indicate you haven't dealt with it. Maybe it's a sign that you do need to?

Have you ever thought of getting any kind of therapy about it, or possibly EMDR? Don't beat yourself up over this but maybe use it as motivation to do something to help you heal...

madamtremain Mon 13-Apr-15 08:00:32

Thanks all, now I'm over the shock of the whole thing I think I'll go back to burying my head on the sand. It's been 15 years and now I know to expect that a man might be doing these I can be alert and ready to ask for a woman.
It just all happened so quickly and like another poster said, it's always been a woman. I never thought for a second that a man would just go for it like that and I wasn't prepared.

StillLostAtTheStation Wed 15-Apr-15 23:26:51

If you feel up to it I would write to complain. The male employee should not have acted so quickly.

chris71 Tue 23-Jun-15 16:31:56

He committed a crime. Please tell the local police or that country's high commission.

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