There are many times when being a parent terrifies me. One example is when I think about the sort of world my daughter is going to grow up in. Articles like this one make me sick, scared and angry: Children and the Culture of Pornography: “Boys will ask you everyday until you say yes.”
There is a storm coming. I can feel it as I stand on a street corner in south London, thinking about my daughters. Lily and Rose are both 11 years old. One is crazy about dogs, the other loves owls.
They are at that tender age when the hormones have begun to stir, and they could be stomping around the room like furious teenagers one minute but snuggling up for a cuddle the next.
The girls are fast approaching 13, the age that Chevonea Kendall-Bryan was when she leaned out of one of the windows on the fourth floor of a block of flats on this street. A boy she knew was down here on the ground, but this was not Romeo and Juliet. Far from it.
Chevonea had been pressurised into performing a sex act on him, and he had shared a phone clip of her doing so with all his mates. She threatened to jump from the window if he did not delete it. Then she slipped and fell 60 feet to the ground, dying from massive brain injuries.
Her mother says she will now campaign against what is happening to young girls in our society. They are certainly under extreme pressure, having to cope with a world more brutal, more demanding and far more overtly sexual than anything their parents knew.
On a slightly similar topic, the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year, it is also the biggest event for human trafficking in the United States. Just yesterday five victims of trafficking were rescued in the French Quarter. This is something we ought not forget as we watch the big game on Sunday. Beneath the surface of this most popular of American games is a darkness.