Australian mum mistakes father in shopping mall toilet for paedophile

A mother has mistaken a father for a paedophile in a shopping mall.
A mother has mistaken a father for a paedophile in a shopping mall. Photo credit: Getty Images

A Queensland mum has admitted to incorrectly thinking a father in a changing room was a paedophile.

The woman was in a parent's room of a public toilet in a shopping mall, when she saw a man's thin hairy leg and heard him shushing someone behind the changing room curtain.

The mum wrote into Kidspot Australia and said she didn't hear a child crying, making her assume the worst was happening.

She admitted it was wrong of her to assume the worst of the man, however, because she knew of two people who were sexually abused as children, it was hard not to fear the worst.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey (ABS, 2017) shows that

11 percent of women and 5 percent of men report being sexually abused before they were 15 years of age.

It is estimated around 1.4 million Australians have experienced some form of sexual abuse before the age of 15.

The woman told Kidspot Australia the man's shushing sounded threatening and there were no comforting sounds from him.

"The “Shh Shh” did not sound comforting. It sounded threatening. There was no It’s okay, there was no humming."

The concerned woman banged on the curtain and yelled "everything alright in there?"

The mother's six-year-old daughter was confused as to what her mum doing and asked her what was happening.

The mother realised her daughter was embarrassed by the whole situation and decided to leave the changing room.

After leaving the changing room the mother felt "sick to her stomach," for leaving the man alone with the child in the cubicle.

When the man came out of the parent's room and into the shopping mall, he shot the mother a dirty look as he held his newborn.

The mother knew she had profiled and understood what she did was wrong but was confused as to why the father didn't open the curtain.

The concerned mother told Kidspot she regretted not opening the curtain and if there was an incident like that again, she would open it without hesitation.