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How to keep your children from being targeted by an abuser, or from abduction

With 2 attempted abductions in Australia in the last 2 days and 3 women found in America after being abducted (2 in their teens), it should make us stand up and take notice that our children should be taught the skills on how to protect themselves.


Our children are the most vulnerable of our community and we need to take seriously the threat that our children face by the numerous abusers that have access to them.

Martial arts and self defence expert Fiona Skene said that “abduction is a horrific situation that we may need to deal with and the statistics are shocking on childhood sexual assault and violent crimes, and parents need to realise the issue is huge.  We must teach and prepare our children to deal with and understand these threats and what they can do about them.”


  •  In 2004, of the 768 people who were kidnapped/abducted, the rate for females aged 10-19 years was 17.5 per 100,000.  Abduction by offenders previously not known to the victim was most common (62%) (Australian Institute of Criminology, August 2005)
  • That 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys before the age of 18 are sexually assaulted. 
  • The highest age group for sexual assault is girls aged between 9 and 14 (Double the amount of females 15 to 25 yrs).
  • 1 in 4 children and young people witness domestic violence
  • Women with an intellectual disability are 50-90% more likely to be subjected to a sexual assault than women in the general population

The most shocking of the above statistics is that for every 100 women that deal with sexual violation there are 200 children between 9 and 14 years of age dealing with it also.
We have all seen the devastating impact that the inquiry on sexual abuse has brought into the lime light and the dramatic effect that people suffer for years.  We need to understand that the issues are still current and we need to take action now.
Children from all socioeconomic background face this issue, and the abuser can threaten and manipulate the child by saying they will target the family by hurting, seriously injuring or killing them, to keep the secret going.  Just like the incident with the collar bomb schoolgirl, Madeleine Pulver faced in 2011.
Schools are the best educators because the treat is usually by someone that is known to the child.  It is usually committed by a member of the family or a close family friend.  The children do not have the resources at home to fight the situation and become completely powerless, isolated and extremely vulnerable.
Often schools are ill equipped to deal with the complexity of the situation on what they can do to assist the protection of children until after an incident has occurred, or a child discloses.
Fiona Skene has been teaching preventative self defence programs that gives power back to the children and helps them to build resources of understanding and awareness. Fiona  says the following 5 key tactics that all children need to be educated on may make the difference.

  • To know what is an attack.  Attacks or not often violent but have devastating results on the emotional and mental wellbeing of children and their family members
  • How to build confidence through knowledge, action plans, self esteem and how to create a personality of power, strength and resilience, can prevent an abuser in targeting your child.
  • If a child is threatened with abduction, knowing the physical skills on what to do, what to look for, what to say and how to act, are key components of achieving success in safety.
  • There are key signals that all children should learn in understanding when they are in danger.  Often an abuser will confuse a child in saying things are ok.  Knowing the signs may help children recognise that they need help and get help sooner rather than later
  • Knowing what tactics an abuser uses, where they will try to access your child and what key vulnerabilities they look for, can help a child and their family understand what actions they need to take to produce power and take back control and safety

Fiona Skene has been teaching self defence, empowerment and anti bullying programs for 28 years.  She has taught over 100000 students and comes with a depth of knowledge from being educated by experts from all over the world.
Fiona says: “Working with children and these issues need an empathy and understanding  to come from a place of fun, not fear.  It is vital that children are equipped with the tools to face these threats.”
There are many tactics and defusion strategies that can be taught to protect our children.
I encourage every educator, parent and relative to organise a self defence program, through their school, community or networking society.  We do not want another incident like Daniel Morcombe again.
Fiona has many more tips that people can have access to through her web site. If you require more information on any topic that can protect your child you can contact her through or email her on
Let us all take action to protect the most vulnerable of our society, and stop the devastating effects of these hideous crimes.


 Child safety, protection
 Child abduction
 Child abuse
 anti bullying
 self confidence

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