A situation at a Target store in Tennessee is precisely what a pro-family group has been warning about when it comes to the retailer’s policy for bathrooms and changing rooms.
According to NBC affiliate WBIR, a peeping Tom was caught March 29 kneeling on the floor of a dressing room area and taking pictures with his cell phone at a Knoxville Target. Victim Leigh Hamby told WBIR she wasn’t in the dressing room for long before she saw a reflection in the mirror.
“Your stomach kind of drops a little bit. It wasn’t just passing. It was a little bit under the door,” Hamby said.
The situation comes as groups, including the American Family Association, are boycotting Target. The retailer is allowing transgender people to use the bathroom and changing room for the gender in which they say they identify. While Target says its policy is about inclusivity, AFA thinks it puts women and children at risk of sexual predators who take advantage of the policy.
Since the boycott was announced in April 2016, AFA has issued Action Alerts and other communications with news and police reports of cases similar to what happened at the Knoxville Target.
“This is exactly like the examples we’ve been citing for almost a year now of men gaining access to their victims, preying on women and little girls in the bathrooms and changing areas at Target,” says AFA’s Walker Wildmon. “This is exactly why Target should reverse its horrible policy which allows men access to women’s facilities.”
Leigh Hamby’s father was also interviewed by WBIR. He encouraged her to share her story to protect other women. Speaking of other women, police in Knoxville say surveillance video shows the suspect – who fled the store after being caught in the act – was in and out of the dressing room area for more than one hour. According to WBIR, no attendant was present.
“Even if there was an attendant there, at the entrance of the changing area, there’s nothing the attendant could do about it,” Wildmon points out. “According to Target’s policy, this man has access to women’s changing rooms and facilities, period.”
Videoing and voyeurism in the areas is illegal.
“As we’ve stated many times, transgender individuals are not our main concern,” Wildmon adds, “but rather voyeurs and sexual predators who will gain access to their victims by using Target’s policy to do so.”
Target has never responded to OneNewsNow’s requests for comment on AFA’s boycott. However, the retailer did issue the following statement to WBIR following last week’s incident:
“At Target, our guests are at the center of everything we do and our commitment to creating a safe and secure shopping environment in our stores is unwavering. As a part this commitment to safety, we have robust procedures, policies and trainings in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work. As soon as this incident was brought to our attention, we immediately partnered with local law enforcement.”
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