‘Teach the children to speak up’ - Artiste says pervert made advances at 7-y-o
Reggae-dancehall artiste Clara Kahwa, better known as CK, took to social media on Saturday to share an unpleasant experience involving her seven-year-old niece and a man who made sexual comments in a store.
"The man kept bothering my niece to give him some of her ice-cream, to the point where it made her uncomfortable," CK told THE STAR. "When I asked the man if he could stop speaking to my niece, he responded, 'Okay, nice lady', but proceeded to say that she, my seven-year-old niece, was 'sexy'."
CK fought back the urge to physically react but called attention to the man by speaking out in the presence of other customers and the staff of the store.
"People were upset but not making noise like me, and he just stood there like him nuh shame which, therefore, proved to me that is normal behaviour for the man to feel as brazen to do that," she said. "I'm happy my niece saw the way I behaved to know that it is okay to react. Her mom also reminded her when someone makes her uncomfortable or attempts to touch her inappropriately to fight and scream and point to any individual, which she was able to identify as a pervert, to make persons aware of the situation."
The singer-songwriter is urging other parents to normalise the conversation on child abuse and unwelcome behaviour that could lead to traumatising situations for children.
She said "I did my part in standing up for my niece in that particular instance and further by using my platform to share the story and give advice on social media. We need to teach the children to speak up. A lot of people were sharing it and have told me that they have begun to have conversations with their children. This shows the more people include these topics in daily lessons, the more the change and awareness will become normal."
CK admitted she broke down afterwards and her niece asked "Aunty have you seen perverts before?"
"Again, this is a child, not even a teenager, checking in with me mentally. I am extremely proud that she was aware, though obviously scared and wants to defend herself. A lot of us walking around traumatised and had experiences that caused us to walk around afraid. What we really want them to do is to not allow the fear to stop them," she said. "We can have forums and marches, but at the end of the day, are you talking to the people who need to be spoken to? The people who need to be spoken to are the children."