Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Bad Experience

The main news topics of the last months here in Belgium!
Just after New Year a *young girl and her boy friend were murdered in a very atrocious manner.
After the Dutroux case the Belgian police research teams started to work together with Child Focus and so they resolved many sexual natured crimes.
Since 1998, Child Focus has treated 3000 cases a year, and closed 70% of them within the year.
The Belgian police research teams resolved these above-mentioned murders in no time and because of there assiduity they resolved also a murder of *three years ago.
From the start they suspected the *young couple's neighbour Ronald Janssen. Although this man was a very exemplary school teacher. His friends and coworkers said that the police was wrong. They wouldn't believe this.
It was such an amiable person!
A well known advocate even said that: he looks the kind of man who you would give the permission to accompany your own daughter to a party. He was always so friendly, every one could count on him.
Later that teacher confessed the two first murders. Thereafter he also confessed the murder of that young girl three years ago. Thereafter he confessed at least five brutal rapes, and during one of them he attacked and wounded a young girl very severe with a knife.
Now they even suspect him to have committed more murders.
As a young girl you have bad luck that you encounter such an amiable man at the wrong moment. They abuse the situating and your vulnerability.
This are things that happens all over the world, and – not only now in this time.

Once, also I encountered such an amiable person and also he abused the situation, but I had luck!
It happened almost 58 years ago!
Then an event toke place that could have ended bad.

This was my first acquaintance on the sexual level and it was not a good one.
I still remember every detail that happened that day.
I was only 9 years old!
In the street where I lived was a grocery shop only eight houses next to our house. My mother was a very good client there, and so now and then she sent us children to do some errands. The shop was ran by a man and his wife. It were two very friendly people. Especially the man was always very kind to me. Almost every time I did the errands he gave me a candy. Of course, I ... as a little child was very eager to do the errands.
One day I went to the grocery to do some errands for my mother, together with my little sister. She was then only four years old.
As always, he was very kind and he gave us both a candy. Then he asked us if we wanted to go with him to his depot to help him to clean his car. The depot was situated on a rather secluded place. Unsuspecting and of no angry aware, I took my little sister by the hand and so we went both with him to his depot.
Together with him we might wash the car with soap, and thereafter we hosed down the car, everything went very playfully!
After the washing came the drying, and with a cloth we dried the car. The result was a very clean and shining car.
He praised us abundantly, we had done the job so very well. In the mean time my little sister went to play somewhere else behind in the depot.
Then while he was walking around the car he said: “hey Fran, come and see ... there below ... under on the wheel there still sits some dirt!” While I was looking down, I squatted to see ... but ... I saw nothing. He came standing behind me and squatted very close, right behind me and then … it happened. He took my hands and drew them towards himself ... there ... to the place where he wanted them to be ... between his legs. Now -- I rather don't want to go in detail … that would not be appropriate, I assume you can imagine what followed!
You must know, I had never seen a naked adult man, but ... I knew that “this” was something wrong!
I tried to disentangle my hands but didn't succeed in it. Although, he was not really violent towards me but he held me so firmly, he had so much more power than I had. I pushed and pushed with my whole body, so it took some time before he lost his balance and he had to give up. So I could free myself.
Totally in a mess ... I called my sister, she was not aware of what had taken place! At first, she wanted to stay and she refused to go – but I took her by the hand and ran towards the exit.
I tried to open the gate but the man blocked it and a little struggle followed. My little sister couldn't comprehend what happened, she stood there looking very astonished at me. The man still tried to retain me but then I said: “I would shout if you don't let us go!”
After I had said that, he looked at me ... very angry ... as if he was doubting what he should do ... then after a while … he opened the gate! As fast as I could I ran with my sis on my hand ... back home!
When I came home I went immediately to my mom to tell her what happened.
She was really furious!!
After my father came home and was told what had happened he went full speed to the grocery and told the people what he thought about it. He warned them ... if he even suspected him from an other attempt he would go to the police.
(In fact, if this same thing would occur now in this time, then the parents would go immediately to the police.)
From then on, my mother was no longer their client!
We never again went to that grocery.
So now and then I encountered the woman or the man and that made me very ashamed. I was not at ease when I saw them. After a few years they closed the grocery and moved to an other place.

Now … when I think back on that event I praise myself very lucky!
Often you hear stories, that men in such similar situation do panic, because they are frightened that the act would come out, and then there happens terrible things.
In fact, he was after all … a good bad man … (if you can say such a thing) because he could have used much more violence and also an other manner to become satisfied, but he didn't!
Probably the presence of my little sister was here in my advantage.

In fact: I was so innocent at that age, not aware of any danger.
I knew nothing about “the birds and the bees” and also nothing at all about “sex”. You must know: in that time, they told us children that babies came out a cabbage, or – that the stork brought the babies!
Even at the age of 12, when I had my periods for the first time, I didn't know what happened. They felicitated me because I became a "mademoiselle" and that was it.
I didn't know that that meant: that I could get pregnant and even also not “how” I could get pregnant! (I had to find that out myself several years later!)
We were kept so stupid in those days … now, even a toddler knows more than we knew then!
Sometimes I doubt, if the result of that change is an improvement. Now they know maybe a little too much too early. There is nothing more to discover!
Their world is now engulfed with sex – there's no good balance – no golden mean!
In earlier times there was too less information – now there's maybe too much (in particular on the internet)!
(Oh oh, now I hear you thinking: she's a real old granny.)

Anyhow, then 12 years later after the event took place there happened something: it seemed almost like an incredible screenplay .
I was married and moved to a new apartment with my little son of three months old.
(My husband was at sea at that time for a journey to the USA for four months. He sailed off when my little son was only eleven days old. When he arrived back home he had to search for our new address. I had moved entirely on my own.)

I hadn't seen that grocer for almost ten years!
What was now the case: my new apartment was situated only two buildings next to this man's new residence!
I didn't know that he lived there since the last time that I had seen him!
That was not so pleasant for me, but luckily – I saw him not so often because he had become ill.

Finally: what happened during the carwash was not a pleasant but also not a dramatic event for me.
I really wasn't traumatized by it. I'm only still disgusted when I think back on it.
There happens so much worse things these days which ends very dramatic.
Every time I hear the stories of these unfortunate young girls or women, I must think back on that event and then I think by my self: I had luck that day!
There's a proverb that says: “what you see is what you get”.
Well, I have experienced (my apology to the really good men!): that you never can be sure of this when it concerns men. If you are a girl or a woman, you better can be suspicious and careful, especially when they are extremely amiable.

Now the co villagers of that Ronald Janssen are all in a kind of shock. The whole village is in a sort of mourn, now the streets are deserted. The people no longer want to talk with journalists who overflowed their village since there were only suspicions.
They still can't believe that their best friend is a serial killer.
That murderer was a master in building a beautiful facade in front of him, he misled every one.
He's the devil in disguise!


  1. This is very disturbing indeed. I am so glad for you that you were able to get away then. These things do indeed happen again and again. Just recently (one or two weeks ago?) in the town my parents live in. -sigh- Very disturbing. I am glad you brought this up, though.

  2. In fact, this all let me think about the situation of women these days.
    Two days ago it was International Women's Day.
    Women don't yet have the same rights as men, and in my opinion they will never have.
    I can become soo angry when I hear the stories of all these unfortunate women all over the world. I have such a pity with them. I received a brochure of Oxfam about the situation of women all over the world and in particular in Africa.
    Did you know that in South Africa every "six hours" a woman becomes murdered by her spouse.
    They get no respect on no level whatever. I wished I could ease their suffering.
    Men will have to change but unfortunate I don't see that happening in the near future.
    So the only thing I can do to help this unfortunate women is to support Oxfam with their Good Cause for Women.

  3. Wow, Fran, that's quite a scary story. As the mother of a teenaged daughter, I worry about her interactions with men all the time. My own mother raised us three girls to always be suspicious, always stay in groups, always lock the doors and windows. Now my own children think I'm paranoid because of her. I want to keep my kids safe without making them feel constant fear. It's a hard balance to find sometimes.

  4. Very disturbing--what happened to those young girls and also you. Always, girls and women all over the world have to worry about being caught unawares. I'm glad your situation had a good outcome--so many don't.

  5. so many unfortunate girls have to face it...you indeed are very lucky :)
    according to a research i read some two years ago, a girl/woman is raped every six seconds at some part of the world, pity

  6. Yes Ambur, I've read that too. There's still a lot of work to do on the level of Women's rights. One may already be glad that one isn't born in Africa. I really have pity with those women!

  7. African women have to suffer some inhuman behavior n customs, even in my country, some extremists in few regions of country treat women like slaves, like they don't have any right on respectable like n govt. does nothing, girls have such cruel husbands who put acid on their faces, cut their nose or ear, rape them, force them to live in hateful conditions, yes believe me there are few regions where things like this happen with women
    theres lot to do for women just rules don't work

  8. Yes, I've seen documentary's on TV about that subject. It's really horrible to see what they are doing to these defenseless women.
    I've also read in National Geographic that men in the Asian region (can't recall the name of the country) even find it normal to have a bride of only 6 years old. They showed the pictures of such "" happy"" couples. It's really disgusting to see the proud groom of about 45 years old with his child bride. Those children really must go through hell!
    Luckily there also exist good men but you only must know where you can find them!
    I hope that you have encountered such one!