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To think that our children aren't safe in general and we need to be super vigilant ?

(201 Posts)
cafebistro Tue 17-Jun-14 22:22:52

I don't think in being unreasonable or paranoid after today. My friend and I went into town on a shopping trip with our children. My dd is 4 years old and my friend dd is just a baby. We were walking through town and has to stop along with a crowd of other shoppers at a level crossing for a good 5 minutes. During this time I noticed a guy looking at my dd. No actually he was eyeing her up and down. I quietly said something to my friend and she said alarmed "he's leering at her". I kept her close , she was messing with her dress and I was frantically pulling it down. I kept checking and he was still doing it, staring. Anyway the level crossing was clear and we carried on walking into a shop. Then I noticed the guy had followed us in. A little while later I was looking at something on shelves and then quickly turned round and the guy was right behind me , he jumped as in shock and moved away.

I'm in shock. I know the guy didn't actually do anything but I think this is the first time I've ever felt that my child may have been under threat. I actually felt like saying to this man "what is your problem! If you come near my child again ...."

I honestly don't think I was being paranoid .

GarlicJuneBlooms Wed 18-Jun-14 17:41:19

The police would rather you DID report suspicions than remain silent.
It's what 101 is for.

GarlicJuneBlooms Wed 18-Jun-14 17:39:22

On today's news: police fight child porn 'epidemic'.

And have you not seen this current thread?

I am NOT saying you should lock up your children, suspect every man, etc. I am suggesting it's very stupid to take safety for granted and to dismiss 'spidey sense' concerns.

Meeeep Wed 18-Jun-14 17:37:07

I've pretty much just stared at a little cute kid for my 40 min bus journey and then got off at the same stop as them.

Maybe there will be a thread about me later. YANBU to feel how you felt OP but your title and subsequent post does come across a bit hysterical.

I'm always vigilant with my DD but then she's a bolter. I'm more scared of the cars than a random bloke on a busy street.

MehsMum Wed 18-Jun-14 17:22:57

Children are very safe in the UK.

OP, relax a little. This is a link about more laid-back parenting:

GarlicJuneBlooms Wed 18-Jun-14 17:20:42

I don't understand standing there for 5 whole minutes while he "leered" at the child.

They were on a level crossing. Should you be unaware what they are: it's the gate that closes when a train's going to cross the road. They close for several minutes!

Kids are no more 'in danger' than previous generations yet today's parents must be the most over protective.

This is true - and I agree parents are generally over-protective these days. However, I come from a generation that wasn't so vigilant: child abuse was certainly widespread, and mostly ignored.

Since I was ignored upthread, the police would rather you DID report suspicions than remain silent.

Nancy66 Wed 18-Jun-14 16:47:49

Stats show that kids are no more 'in danger' than previous generations yet today's parents must be the most over protective.

I have a family friend who wants her 15 yr old very bright/sensible daughter to come and stay with us for a week. I suggested she put her on the train (approx. 90 min journey) and we meet her at the other end. You'd think I suggested that she hitch hiked at 2am from the reaction I got.

Babycham1979 Wed 18-Jun-14 16:44:48

Sorry, U2thedge, but I don't think you're at all right when you say 'it is dangerous to belittle people when they are uncomfortable with something. I think we should take people seriously unless we have proof that she is being paranoid, and on this thread, we don't.'

It's perfectly sensible to tell someone when they're being completely unreasonable (especially when they post on an AIBU forum!?). To accuse people of being potential sex offenders with no evidence whatsoever IS utterly unreasonable and irrational. MN threads are already full of more than enough posts about mums' 'instincts' about 'creepy' men wanting to fondle or abduct their children; it's like reading the Daily Mail.

losingmybelt Wed 18-Jun-14 16:42:00

Koala, we didn't want to have the conversation with him, but felt, for his own safety and well-being, we had to.


sillystring Wed 18-Jun-14 16:40:26

The first thing that occurred to me when I read this OP was "nonce sense". The OP buggered off ages ago.

Babycham1979 Wed 18-Jun-14 16:39:00

Absolutely bonkers! It's this kind of attitude that leaves non-Brits aghast. Are we the most paranoid country on earth? Covering our children up on the beach, seeing kiddy-fiddlers on every street corner?!

I refer MNers to this classic episode of Chris Morris (warning: don't watch if you are overly sensitive) -

KoalaFace Wed 18-Jun-14 16:37:02

losing that's really sad. sad

I don't think it would even occur to me to tell someone they can't stop to watch children playing. Does it always look bad? I credit people by being able to judge when someone is just innocently looking at children and someone who is hanging around in a sinister way.

I know you can't tell a person's intentions just by the sight of them but I never feel threatened by people looking at my DC. I would if I felt they were leering and following them though.

losingmybelt Wed 18-Jun-14 16:25:11

I'd hate to be a man in today's present climate.

I can remember when my elderly uncle (who'd lived abroad for years) came to live with us for a while.
He used to go and get a paper from the local shop every morning, and some mornings (especially if it was sunny), he would be a couple of minutes late.
When we questioned him, he told as that he often stopped to watch the children playing in the school playground as it was such a lovely sight.

Obviously, we were horrified and had to explain to him that people in this country don't just 'stop and watch children playing' (especially if you're a man) as it is seen as something sinister.

A lot of elderly people get joy out of watching children play..... but they daren't.

U2TheEdge Wed 18-Jun-14 16:03:21

I hate this kind of thread.

I am not at all paranoid and pretty lax by many standards.

However, because some parents seem to be paranoid and think all men are out to get their children, every time someone posts a thread like this people assume that the poster must be one of those parents.

It happens a lot lately. Someone posts about something they are uncomfortable with and they are accused of being paranoid when we have no idea if they are or aren't.

I do not worry about abduction or peadophiles and can't understand parents who are so fearful that they become stupidly over protective, but I won't lump the OP in with those people based on one thread like others here seem happy to do.

I think it is dangerous to belittle people when they are uncomfortable with something. I think we should take people seriously unless we have proof that she is being paranoid, and on this thread, we don't.

Sillylass79 Wed 18-Jun-14 15:44:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rivercam Wed 18-Jun-14 15:31:31

Leering makes you feel uncomfortable, staring/looking doesn't.

AnyoneForTennis Wed 18-Jun-14 14:57:01

What's the difference between leering and staring/looking?

Singlesuzie Wed 18-Jun-14 14:23:18

this happens all the time but the op had a moment of awareness of something uncomfortable

That's what my issue is, the OP had a moment of awareness. In other words- she just happened to notice this time. That doesnt mean this time was any different than the thousands of other times her child has been looked at. It just means Op noticed it happening this time and decided it was sinister. Without even trying to find out the reason for his staring. We also werent told what it was that OP said to her friend to provoke the "leering" comment. I suspect it was something to indicate OP already thought he was.

Also "awareness of something uncomfortable"?

No, awareness of feeling uncomfortable.

Sillylass79 Wed 18-Jun-14 14:16:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rivercam Wed 18-Jun-14 13:47:33

James Bulger was with his mother when he went missing. He wandered out of the shop when she was distracted, and then got led away by Venables and Thompson. They admitted they had been planning to abduct a child.They were 10 year old boys! It does happen, but thankfully is rare.

The op's headline is a bit sensationalist, however the text isn 't. We can't go around believing that every man on the street is a paedophile, but it doesn't do any harm to be villigent, and to respond to our instincts on those rare occasions when something doesn't feel right.

Hakluyt Wed 18-Jun-14 13:38:57

At a risk of a flaming- I think that telling people to act on instinct, or gut feeling is such a bad idea. For the one time that our instincts are proved right, there are thousands where they are not. But we only remember the ones which turn out to be right. Just like dreams. No better than chance.

Singlesuzie Wed 18-Jun-14 13:35:21

Well, then I'm amazed your automatic assumption is that a woman should deny their instincts something is awry.

Please indicate in any of my posts where i said her instincts were wrong or that she should deny them.

My comments were in response to a poster (not sure if you or someone else) referring to what OP described as 'brief encounter' with a predatory male. What happened to OPs dd was so insignificant, certainly not an encounter, there was no risk, no 'event', no effect whatsoever on the child. What 'happened' happens all day every day to people up and down the country and they know nothing about it. The OP chose to attribute malicious intent to this man's 'looking'. She may or may not be right. It doesnt really matter because nothing happened an nothing was going to happen.

DowntonTrout Wed 18-Jun-14 13:16:21

I think the sensible thing to have done in the OPs case would have been to move away from the man as soon as she felt uneasy about him. I don't understand standing there for 5 whole minutes while he "leered" at the child.

Of course there are odd or undesirable people about. There always have been, but our children are in no more danger from them than they have been in the past.

The title of the thread is inflammatory. If the OP had just said " there was a man staring at my child, it made me uneasy and he followed us into a shop, was IBU to feel uncomfortable?" she would have had different responses.

Sirzy Wed 18-Jun-14 13:13:48

Surely to know he was staring for 5 minutes you were also staring at him? Otherwise you have no idea where his gaze went?

Sounds like a massive over reaction to a nothing situation from you, and even if it's not then you say it's the first time in 9 years you have ever had such suspicions so it's hardly indicative of the suggestion children aren't safe

notaflamingclue Wed 18-Jun-14 13:13:01

Haven't read all the thread but felt the need to shove in my four penn'orth.

I think in general YABU but I add a note of caution:-

I remember when I was about 14, we had a school trip to Paris, and one evening we had 2 hours to ourselves to wander up and down the Champs Elysees (or somewhere else with shops). I noticed two guys who appeared to be following me and my friend, and were staring in our direction all the time.

We had lost the rest of the group by this time, and darted into a shop to try and 'lose' the two guys. We walked in and out of aisles, up and down escalators, mixing up our route as much as possible, but they still followed us.

Eventually we ran back out into the street and bumped into some classmates, and I remember we were both hysterical with fear and relief.

Even though nothing had happened, my instincts told me that we were potentially in danger. So I reckon, OP, if you thought something was 'going down', you were quite probably right.

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 18-Jun-14 13:10:14

Carpetbigger. Well, d'oh, no of course we don't. Don't be so silly.

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