A woman on TikTok claimed she was searched inappropriately and was hurt during a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pat down at Denver International Airport. The video has drawn over 2 million views and thousands of comments’ worth of discussion.
TikTok user @goldii, 30, told the Daily Dot that the incident happened on Dec. 2, 2022. In the video, she shared her experience via text overlay, writing that she felt she was “literally assaulted.”
“Had a woman TSA agent pat me down for a random search and actually hurt my downstairs because she said she needed to search me to the ‘point of resistance,'” the text overlay read. “When I told her it hurt me (bc she literally pushed her hand into my vag) she looked at me and asked if it was because I was sore. I had to go to the bathroom to cry after bc it felt like she literally assaulted me.”
She said when she filed a complaint with the TSA, she was given an explainer of why the TSA conducts pat downs, and that the complaint would be shared with the appropriate parties for that airport.
A TSA spokesperson shared the following statement with the Daily Dot regarding the woman’s claim that she was searched inappropriately.
“The TSA has information and a video on pat down procedures on our website at TSA.gov.,” the statement reads. “Our pat down of any sensitive area which is done to resolve an alarm is done on top of your clothing.”
@goldii told the Daily Dot that she posted the video on an impulse, and has received broad support from viewers who encouraged her to file a complaint.
“I didn’t have a conscious intention behind posting it to be honest,” she said. “I had seen others post their stories of similar instances and felt the impulse to share mine. I was already embarrassed, so I felt like there was nothing really to lose.”
For others who have experienced something similar, @goldii recommended speaking to someone they trust about the situation.
“Sometimes the best way to deal with it is to walk away and tell a friend,” she said. “If you report it or go to authority right then and there it can be way too much for someone who’s experienced assault in the past. So, I guess my advice is so what feels good for you. If you’re up for reporting it, do it as soon as possible in the airport. If it’s too much to relive it then do what feels safe to you.”
In her comments section, she clarified that the TSA agent “karate chopped” her “so hard that it went in.” She also said this happened while she was wearing jeans.
Viewers shared their own experiences, or the experiences of loved ones, being searched that left them feeling uncomfortable.
“This happened to my mom who is in her 60’s,” one commenter wrote. “She was so traumatized and cried. She reported it too and nothing happened to the female tsa agent.”
“Wore a crop top to the airport and a tsa lady wouldn’t stop patting my bare stomach and waist, like, ma’am there are no drugs in a secret skin pocket,” another user said.
“I had a tsa agent kinda karate chop between my legs to check, happened to my friend I was traveling with too, it feels horrible,” a viewer wrote.