“I was so angry I had to stop, turn back and address that man. I can’t even tell you all I tell him, but I was so mad I was seeing red. To believe that this man could be looking at my little daughter…,” she exclaimed.
The woman is a mother of three and the daughter referred to is under the age of 15. She was sharing her experience of having a grown man express an interest in the child. I felt her anger and understood where she was coming from.
We were having a telephone conversation at the time.
“Girl, sometimes I just don’t know what to say about these men,” she began, and initially I thought she was about to tell me of an issue she was having with her significant other.
“Imagine the other day I walking down the road and this man working on the house, he start like calling out to me to get my attention. I didn’t pay no mind because I was in me own world but is when he turn and say ‘Don’t worry you gat to be me mother-in-law’, right away I stop.
“I turn around and I went back to the house and I start on he. I tell he how me child is under 16 and is jail he looking at. Like I tell you I can’t remember all I tell he, but I was so vex and mad that I had to tell he and then at first, he just laughing.
“The people who house he repairing went there and I tell them that they should be careful and that they should talk to him because is in their property he is. They turn and tell he to rest he-self and that he should apologise but he tell them don’t worry with me because I is a mad woman.
“Imagine I couldn’t get this man to understand that he can’t be looking at a little girl and he shouldn’t be interfering with her. He couldn’t see where he was wrong. If you look at my daughter, you could see she is a child. Most times she is in her school clothes, so he had to know. I pass he working on this house with my daughter dressed in her school clothes so he know is a little child.
“After I done say what I had to say, I leave but I was still mad because he did not seem to understand,” she added.
I told her she should have reported the matter to the police and while she agreed, she indicated that she was just tired thinking about dealing with the police. I told her I would have made him an example, but instead she said she would just move out of the area because she does not find it to be safe.
“You know after I talk to this man my daughter tell me that he trouble her and then the other day he working on another house closer to us and he troubling her. Then he end up in the yard to my neighbour. He didn’t tell her anything, but just the fact that he in the yard get me so upset. This place is not safe, and I have to do something I can’t continue here. I can’t stop people from coming into the yard because other people living here,” she lamented.
“I understand that maybe I should report it, but the police don’t even get time when you report serious crimes and I could tell you because I know. You think they would take this serious? Sometimes I am just frustrated but I have to do what is right by my child and I will talk up to anybody,” she added.
I cannot comprehend how grown men can be interested in children. I recall while I was at school – and I know many women have had the same experience – grown men would verbally harass me in public places. They at times talked dirty and went so far as to indicate they wanted to have a sexual relationship with me. It was always scary, and it made me feel so uncomfortable.
I am angry now when I see young girls still facing this same type of harassment from men. I intervened a few times and was verbally abused by the men as a result. One even told me that I was just jealous because I was old, and he was not interested in me. I didn’t mind. I felt it was my civic duty and I will continue to upbraid men whenever I see them harassing young girls.
Some men seem unable to understand that children are off limits, even though I must add that oftentimes their approach to women in general borders on sexual harassment and they should be charged and placed before the courts.
Too often, they prey on young girls who live in depressed communities and they take advantage of these situations.
It was a mother’s quest to save her daughter from a grown man that eventually resulted in the age of consent being raised from 13 to 16 in October 2005.
That girl was below the age of 16 and her mother tried all she could to prevent the relationship even engaging the courts. However, she lost the battle as the child, upon attaining the age of majority, married the man.
But we all should join the fight in helping to protect our young girls from the many predators lurking in the streets who rape our underaged girls. More and more of them are being charged, but there are just too many of them getting away with this crime because at times relatives blame the victims for these dastardly acts.
I will stay in contact with the mother who spoke with me. I wish she would report the man, but I also understand her desire to just remove her family from the area as things can indeed escalate.