Monday, January 20

Police Men and Street Harasment in Cameroon

Tuesday 26th is just one of the so many days that we have been street harassed by men.After having a tiring day of  doing what we are most passionate about and with all the exhaustion moving in the hot scotching sun,my friend and i could not go home because we had some unfinished business and badly needed to finish up with what we had planned to do on that day.

Around the Human Rights office,there were some two police men on the other side of the road,one standing and the other on a motor bike.I didn't pay much attention as they called for my friend's attention.What made me realize much more was going on was when my friend twisted her face in denial to respond to their call.I turned and looked at the two police men.My friend suggested i should not look at them and that we continue moving.

We didn't really know what to do or think at the moment because of the dress code policing that is going on.As we continued moving forward,the police man who was standing crossed to meet us while the other one on the bike continued moving forward on his bike so he could catch up with us.We never stopped moving when the police man following us starting talking.He spoke in french and told us he and his friend were new in Buea and do not really know the town that well.He said they would love to spend some time with us and asked for my friend's number.

Despite the fact that we showed no interest in continuing the discussion,the police man kept following us,persuading us to give our phone numbers while his friend across the road continued following us on his bike.My friend tactfully denied to give her number.The police man suddenly shifted his interest from my friend to me and said I'm the one he wants.I also tactfully denied to give my number by making excuses.We were in front of the health center when he said his friend on the bike could take us to Molyko since we said we lived far .

These men just did not want to leave us alone.It is just one of the several incidents where police men have been patrolling ,then shifted their attention from their jobs to harassing young women.Sometimes one is forced to be polite despite the fact that they loathe harassment and harassers because of their fear of being harmed.We are talking about police men that could physically abuse you then make excuses,lie you caused it or create some other motive,then get away with their crime.

It is a good thing we succeeded to manage that situation without things getting out of control.Not everyday one might be that lucky.Not every woman is that always lucky .

Join the campaign and post your story either on WFAC Facebook page or share online with the harshtag: #endpolicestreetharassment #dresscode

by Ngwentah Berlyn, WFAC