I recently read a very disturbing article about a young woman who was sexually assaulted in an airplane bathroom. She was attacked on a red eye flight, by a drunk man who sat in the seat next to her on the plane. It’s hard to imagine how an attack can occur in such a tight place, as an airplane bathroom, with loads of passengers just nearby. But it did. We have to remember that sexual assaults are attacks of opportunity. He followed her to the bathroom, controlled and intimidated her and assaulted her.
As I began to research bathroom attacks, I realized that it was much more common than I could have imagined. Girls and boys in school bathrooms, women in mall restrooms, park restrooms, and hotel bathrooms.
It’s quite a shock when an enraged person kicks in a door, or pushes in behind you into a bathroom stall, a public bathroom, or rest area, to attack you. Let me be brutally clear with you. When someone attacks you in a bathroom, he or she is doing it there, because of the remote location, which a bathroom provides.
An attacker’s goal is to hurt, beat you and control you. With control, and having inflicted bodily harm, he can continue to sexually assault you, and perhaps kill you.
The bathroom attacks that I read about, happened almost the same way in each case. The first situation, happened at least three or four times and in different areas. They were incidents that involved, several lone females who entered public bathrooms, and were violently confronted by a male attacker, hiding in the stall.
My first lesson is one of awareness. A person who is texting or on the phone, is going to be an easy target. Don’t be glued to your phone. Be aware of anyone who is lurking nearby, and may follow you into the bathroom. Be aware of door and locks that seem to have been tampered with or damaged. It probably was done deliberately. Trust your instinct, if something feels off, find another bathroom. Be alert when you are alone in a bathroom. When a male comes out of a stall, he may just play dumb, and pretend that he thought he was in the men’s room.
If you are female, first action, don’t listen to his excuses, run towards the exit, while screaming that a man followed you into the bathroom. If he’s been hiding in there for a while, he probably knows, exactly how much time he has, before another person enters.
Second situation. You are in a stall and someone kicks in the door. The first reaction will be of pure shock until your adrenaline kicks in. The attacker will use these first shocked moment to beat you or hit you in the face, and head. Head punches and blows can disorientate a victim. He or she could punch, hit you in the face with an object, or kick you in the face, several times. Even though you have been hit, you must take action. Turn your head, and tuck your head to one of your shoulders, and put your arms up about six inches in front of your head and face, make fists, to absorb the blows.