RELATED: Passengers, flight attendants demand airlines get tougher on sexual assault
In California, local agencies also have jurisdiction over in-flight crimes committed while a plane is above California airspace. When law enforcement is called to meet a flight, local police or sheriff deputies are usually the responders. They work in cooperation with FBI agents who generally handle the investigation, and may sometimes meet a flight.
RELATED: Allies in action: Local help with complicated issues
If you are sexually assaulted on an airplane, FBI Special Agent Carlos Ramirez recommends:
- Get out of your seat immediately and notify a flight attendant.
- If the crew does not reseat you or the perpetrator, ask them to do so.
- Ask flight attendants to have law enforcement meet the plane. The F.B.I urges all flight crews to report any crime on board a plane, but airline policies vary.
- If possible, try to identify witnesses on the plane.
- If law enforcement does not meet the plane when it lands, call 911 before you leave the airport.
- Try to remember the circumstances of the assault to the best of your ability - including when during the course of the flight the assault happened.
- If someone touches you in an unacceptable manner for any reason, say something such as "You are encroaching on my space and that is not acceptable."
- If you are subject to verbal or other harassment that makes you uncomfortable, notify flight attendants to prevent the behavior from escalating.