This Woman Was Groped on a Plane & Had to Live Tweet It to Be Heard

airplane interior

Flying can be stressful enough without any extenuating circumstances. But one woman experienced the unthinkable while simply trying to get from point A to point B. Ariana Lenarsky was groped by a fellow passenger on a flight that originated in Austin, Texas. As if that weren't bad enough, what she had to resort to doing in order to be taken seriously is outrageous.


Lenarsky, a Los Angeles–based podcast producer and performer, live tweeted not only the incident but the callous way it was handled -- by authorities, of all people, who eventually took her report. Here's how it began:

When you're on an airplane, you're trapped, which means you're stuck in mid-air with the person who just groped you -- possibly for hours. Making things even more disturbing, Lenarsky learned she wasn't the only one harassed. Still, no swift action was taken.

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Though authorities met the plane when it landed and took a report, Lenarsky was told of the lengths she'd need to go through to press charges, which are, again, bizarre. 

It's beyond ridiculous that Lenarsky's and her fellow passenger's complaints weren't taken seriously, even as authorities told her the legal term for what happened to her is "battery." After the matter was treated like it was NBD, Lenarsky decided to go ahead and tweet the man's photo.

It seems like when he decided an airplane was the perfect venue to harass women who had no opportunity to escape, he gave up his right to privacy.

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If there's any good news to come out of this awful story, it's that Austin police are now looking into the incident.

It's a shame that a woman has to experience this and then, only by sharing her story on social media, get the response she deserved right from the start. 

Amen. Let's hope that Lenarksy's refusal to sit in silence and suffer abuse at the hands of a stranger inspires others to follow her lead and, more importantly, fix a system that's deeply flawed.


Image via Kokhanchikov/Shutterstock

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