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Hey readers!

  Welcome to the month of July!  How exciting is it that we are finally in the season of neighborhood barbecues, outdoor festivals, summer vacations, etc., where you can have family fun time!  Out of season clothing can finally be put away, and we get to walk outside in our sandals!

  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of all of this fun, but it is very important to remember that warm weather does not make us immune to stranger danger.

  The other day, I was talking to a girl I went to school with, (I'll name her Kate for this blog) who called to my attention an incident that happened over the long weekend at a barbecue, where she was surrounded by close friends, family, their kids, people she trusts.

  One of the girls at the house brought her boyfriend who no one knew. Okay, cool- meeting new people can be fun.  For some reason, the girl left the party early and her boyfriend stayed to drink with everyone (who he doesn't know).

  This guy was described to me as pure creeper material: 40-something, hanging with 20-somethings and little kids he just met.  As the night progressed, this guy had borderline violated two of the women at the party, including Kate, basically aggressively trying to take advantage of them in their intoxicated states (you know, while he actually has a girlfriend on top if it all).  The guy pushed her against the wall and pressed himself against her, trying to feel her up.  At this point, she was really drunk to the point of borderline weakness, but still had enough strength and anger to push him away as hard as she could. He didn't rape her, but it was a total violation of personal space, making for one uncomfortable situation that set the tone for the rest of the night.  The dude should know sexual harassment is against Ontario Human Rights laws.

  Like that wasn't bad enough, he seemed to enjoy hanging with the little kids the most, holding the babies, talking to 4 year old girls, including Kate's daughter.  Despite how sprawled out all the attendees of this party were around the house and the property, there was always a trusted adult watching the kids, so when this guy would talk to the kids, the supervising adult would take the kids away from him.

Ewww- what a creep. 
  After the party was over, and everyone went home the next morning, Kate was talking to her mother about what happened, reviewing the events from the night regarding the creepy 40 year-old guy.  In the midst of her talking to her mother, Kate's 4-year old daughter came down and immediately knew exactly who she was talking about and agreed he was creepy.  When Kate got to this point, my instincts made me ask her, "Did he touch your daughter?", she told me her daughter wouldn't lie and he didn't.  I mean, it's one thing when an adult-who is more emotionally/mentally resilient than a child- gets violated, but it's another level of serious when a child- in all her innocence- gets exposed to traumatic adult situations.  Luckily, this wasn't the case.

  Days later, Kate has lost sleep over this situation, and it has caused some arguments with friends who were with her over the weekend.  She was never the type to back down or stay quiet when she sees something odd, so yes, the question is, "Why now?"  All night, the guests were trying to figure out a polite and civil way to kick this guy out of the house, but despite only meeting him earlier that day, he is the homeowner's neighbor, after all, which makes it an awkward situation when half of the people have been drinking since the early afternoon, so at the point of being drunk that you want to pass out, it makes it more challenging to make balanced decisions.

EXACTLY.
In case some of you may be reading this and are probably wondering, "Why are these people getting drunk around little kids?"  Just because you're a parent, that's the time you are supposed to completely quit the things you enjoy doing once in a while?  This was a Canada Day barbecue, a family/close friends event.  No one was getting naked, no one was shooting up drugs.  Canadians drink beer/wine with their barbecued meat, no?  Just so we're clear.  I myself am not a parent, so maybe I don't know any better, but as an aunt, this story hit home.

  Kate gave me full permission to give this story media attention- while remaining anonymous, of course- as this situation just isn't right.  Last I checked, she had maybe an hour of sleep and was ready to go confront the guy, addressing the situations.    

  What would you do in a situation like this?  I would have called the guy's girlfriend to pick him up or something, or at least let her know what was going on o she could contact him to get him out of there.  She could get mad all day and all night about it, but the truth isn't always an easy pill to swallow.  Just an overall tricky situation.  What do you think?

@JerZGrlinCanada


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