Know Your Neighbor

It was a beautiful sunny day, the sounds of lawn mowers, kids riding on bicycles, the bass beats of a cars stereo and the smell of fresh-cut grass always ignite in me the desire to be outside.  It was just that kind of day. As I walked across the street to retrieve mail from the locked mail box centrally located in our section of the block; the neighbor, who can single-handedly be called “mr. neighborhood watch”, approached me in his usual welcoming matter.  He begins by asking me, did I know that the guy who lives in the house about 2 doors down is a convicted child molester? I responded with shock and that I did not.  After much back and forth discussions between the two of us about what were the repercussions, the neighbor informed me that there were small children living in the house.  I was more alarmed. He then told me he didn’t have a computer. I do, so I came inside, informed my fiancée and then the three of us went on the site and goggled Megan’s Law.  After a few clicks on the keyboard, voila, there he was – code violations cited, age, birth date and a photo of him, which told us that this was the man!  So, we then went back outside and told our next door neighbor, a young couple with one child, and the girlfriend proclaimed, oh yea, I already know that and that is why I don’t let my daughter play outside unless I am watching her.   Before I could think about what I would say next I blurted out, when were you going to tell me, you know I have kids! She struggled to answer and finally just said, I thought you knew and then she added the phrase that people think will make it alright, “I’m sorry.” Then I asked her if she told her daughter and she said no. Wow!!

 I immediately removed myself from the few neighbors that were talking, came inside and told my children that there was a child molester down the street, showed them the picture on-line and my fiancée and I both discussed what to do if he says anything to them and most importantly to never ever go to his house.

 We then talked about Jaysee Dugard who lived in a neighborhood for years and had 2 children by her abductor and molester, the teenaged boy who was kidnapped and tortured at a house in a “good area”  and countless other children who are violated daily by adults  in their neighborhood.  I stand to say that the reason why it happens in some of the best as well as the worst neighborhoods is because people don’t talk. The perception is that as long as I protect my own children, the other children will have to fend for themselves. Like the ostrich; our societies’ collective heads are buried under ground. Going deeper into that psyche is the belief that even though a family member or spouse has been accused and convicted of molestation, I still allow children to be in their presence and I keep the secret.

 We as a society need to be ashamed of ourselves.  We are as sick as our secrets.  Perhaps the man raped and orally copulated a child under the age of 14 years old when he was 18 years old or when he was 30 years old, I am not sure; however what I do know is that I will always err on the possibility of protecting children – mine and yours.  So, I say check out Megan’s Law on-line and see who is living in your neighborhood and in the neighborhoods of the school your children attend.  And when you know that you know, let the neighbors know. If more people took action against evil, evil would disappear.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”


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