Being taken to a disabled toilet

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Being taken to a disabled toilet

Post by pmmarshall » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:40 pm

Ok ladies, this happened to me yesterday:

I was sitting on the stairs leading into the stadium seats and a staff member approached me and told me to feed my baby in the disabled toilet, he commented that their was a 'thing' for the baby and walked me to the disabled toilet and held the door open for me.
As I looked around I would have had to sit on the toilet lid to feed my baby (I also had my three year old with me).
I put my baby, now screaming, into the pram and went for a walk, where I found in the opposite direction a food venue, with seats and there were even some lounge chairs I could have sat on.
I didn't say anything to the staff member, nor to the supervisor, as I have suffered postnatal depression and find confrontations extremely stressful.
I felt totally degraded and ashamed as I was walked to the toilet.
It has since come to my attention that it is actually illegal to do this to a breastfeeding woman (I accept that I may have needed to be moved to a seat and not on the stairs, but did not need to be taken to the disabled toilets).


I'm not happy with the response they have given me, and don't know where to go or what to do, so I came here.

Hi again Mandy. As mentioned during our phone call this this afternoon, we have now spoken to our event staff member involved and thought the best way to convey his comments was to provide you with his report in his own words.

“I have just visited the stadiums page on Facebook and just want to say how sorry and bad I feel at the moment from all of this. I had in no way forced the lady to go to the bathroom. I have no problem with breastfeeding in public. I simply thought I was helping by offering if she wanted to go into the bathroom where I explained there was a changing table, etc. I am aware that there is a parent room down on level 3, but chose this option because it was only a few metres away. As doing so, I thought she would feel safer as she wouldn’t have to worry about others bumping into her. As it is a small hall before entering the seating bowl in aisle 513. I did discuss this with my supervisor after the game, and he thought I did the right thing as well. But I just want to make it clear that I was definitely not forcing this person to go to the bathroom. Once, she was done breastfeeding her child she was standing at the bottom of the stairs for about 10mins or so. If I didn’t approach her and help her find other seats I believe that she would have been standing there for a long time. Overall, I just want to make it clear that i was just trying to help, and didn’t mean for all this. If she had said no, I would have simply let her stay there, as I am aware with the current laws of breastfeeding. This is not an issue of a lack of understanding, but I believe a misunderstanding.”

Again, Mandy we apologise sincerely for any inconvenience to you. This is definitely not Stadium policy and as you can see from our staff members response, his intent was to assist and certainly not to embarrass or distress you in any way.

He may not have 'forced' me, but I didn't want to make a scene and when someone in authority (regardless of age) tells me to do something, I generally do it, so as not to get in trouble.

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Re: Being taken to a disabled toilet

Post by Penguin » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:00 pm

If you're not happy and want to take it further you can contact the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Do you feel you were asked to stop breastfeeding or to move on?
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Re: Being taken to a disabled toilet

Post by AussieBritLu » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:54 pm

oh wow......maybe you could convey the fact that he was an authority of the stadium and you didn't want to cause a scene you did what he asked so you didn't get into trouble.....perhaps he could have offered you a few places to go if it was about your safety rather than the fact you were breastfeeding?

Maybe it's not about public breastfeeding and it was about keeping you and your child safe, but maybe they (as in the stadium) could have a look at giving mums options of places to go and maybe conveying their reasons as to why they have suggested. I'd be happy if someone told me a few options and why, that way you're making a choice.

Do you feel that you could have been bumped into whilst you were sitting where you were prior?
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Re: Being taken to a disabled toilet

Post by mummymanda » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:22 pm

I think there is a problem with the staff members communication skills. Perhaps if he actually explained himself and asked IF you were happy to stay there or that it was unsafe or against policy. Offering for you or anyone to feed in the toilet should not ever be an option. I get there was possibly a misunderstanding/lack of communication but offering the toilet is the big mistake in my eyes.

My SIL was unable to breastfeed due to medical reasons she was really devastated. One day she went bed shopping with her newborn son and needed to bottle feed him in the store. One of the shop assistants made horrible snide remarks to her about lazyness and her child was going to be not very smart. SIL was heartbroken and cried and left the store. She then emailed the chain head office who were brilliant. The assistant was spoken to and retrained. They then included SILs letter in their future employees training manual and do a talk on customer etiquette. Perhaps you could suggest something similar happen.

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Re: Being taken to a disabled toilet

Post by Mummy woo! » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:29 pm

Pm marshal, I'm so sorry you had that happen.

I think the stadium's response is unsatisfactory because it is very much focussed on the staff members intent rather than on the impact on you. We all know how damaging well meaning but ill informed people can be.

What are you looking for here? And has the stadium offered to do anything? An apology, staff retraining, some kind of gesture?

If you can clearly explain what you want, you could reply to them stating what you want and why. Alternatively you could complain to the human rights commission - it is a simple process but you will have to stay on top of the paperwork. The only possible concern I see is if you were blocking the way where you were sitting - would they have asked anyone to move from that spot or was it just you?
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