We’ve heard all the stories before. But for this Australian mum, the unthinkable actually happened.
For a moment, I want you to picture this. You’re out in the city enjoying a day with your child. It’s a welcome opportunity to get out of the house and spend some quality time with your little one.
When the day is over you hop onto a regular bus and start heading home. Your child is sitting happily in their pram. Your stop comes and you proceed to get off.
And as you do so, a total stranger takes a photo inside your child’s pram with a high quality camera.
Snap. And it’s done.
You and your child are off the bus before you’ve even realised what’s happened. The stranger is gone, continuing their commute, with photos of your two-year-old in their possession.
For one Australian mum, she doesn’t need to imagine, because this is her horrifying reality. What’s even more dreadful is it could happen to any of us.
Marcia Jane, a Brisbane mother, was on the bus ride home with her two-year-old daughter at about 4:00pm on a weekday when the unthinkable happened.
“My daughter was sitting in her pram, so she was at the front of the bus facing the rest of the passengers and I sat in front of her. As I stood up to move the pram to get off the bus, a man who sat behind me snapped a picture of my daughter with a camera,” she says.
Marcia believes the man looked to in his 20s and he took the image with a high quality camera.
After the man took the picture, Marcia says she paused, wanting to confront him but did not do so. “I didn't know if I have the right to do so and he appeared like a tourist. I didn't want to cause hoo-ha and delays. The bus driver was exceptionally nice and had got off the bus so he could help me with the pram,” she explains.
Except now that Marcia has had more time to think, she says she feel paranoid about what the photo could be used for. Thinking about recent stories in the media regarding digital kidnapping, seeing children’s images being turned into memes and “whatever nasty things that bad persons would do with a young child's picture,” has caused her great concern.