Mum's warning to parents after attempted child abduction
AN IPSWICH mother is warning other parents to stay vigilant after she experienced every parent's worst fear.
Leanne took to social media to tell of the moment where she said her five-year-old twin girls could have been abducted.
"I was about to take the kids down into the backyard to play with their new puppy which had ran next door. I was baking at the same time and I went to turn the oven down," she said.
"As they got to the front of our yard a man asked them what was wrong. They said they were just looking for their puppy.
"They kept walking and he told them he wasn't a stranger and that he was their neighbour."
Leanne said thanks to a recent talk by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation at their school, her daughters knew to just keep walking.
"He put his hand on my daughter's shoulder and said he would help them find the puppy," she continued.
"The next-door neighbour saw through the window and didn't recognise the man so she came straight out and asked the girls whether everything was ok and asked him who he was.
"He said he was their next-door neighbour and she knew he wasn't. He said he would walk them home but my neighbour got the girls inside and shut the door."
Leanne said her neighbour saw the man leave on foot shortly after.
The Ipswich mother went cold as soon as she realised what could have happened to her five-year-old twin girls.
"I poked my head out the window and saw my next-door neighbour walking my kids down the driveway and I knew something was wrong," she said.
"She told me what happened and I went cold, I couldn't believe it.
"It could have been so much worse."
She said despite her fears as to what could have happened, she was proud of her daughters for knowing what to do in a potentially dangerous situation.
"They just had a Daniel Morcombe talk so I think that helped them a lot.
"They knew to keep walking and that's what they did," Leanne said.
"My daughter said that's what her teacher told her to do and I honestly believe it played a huge part in keeping them safe.
"I am also a parent who tries to drill that (stranger danger message) into them and I'm very proud of them."
Since sharing her story on social media Leanne said she'd had parents get in touch to share similar stories and to offer support.
"People I don't know have been messaging me and telling me their stories.
"I was naïve to think it could never happen to us," she said.
"It does happen and in mere seconds your kids can be gone and it's a scary thought.
"All it takes is for you to turn your back and this happened in my own front yard in a quiet street.
"I just want to get the message out there for parents to remain vigilant."
Bruce and Denise Morcombe's message is getting through
BRUCE and Denise Morcombe certainly know how to get their vital safety message across to kids of all ages.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation often visits Ipswich schools to spread its message.
The foundation was established by Bruce and Denise Morcombe in 2005 after their son Daniel was abducted and murdered in December 2003 while waiting to catch a bus on the Sunshine Coast.
It's two main aims are to teach children on how to stay safe in a physical and online environment and to support young victims of crime.
When speaking with the QT at a previous school visit in Ipswich, the inspirational couple shared their three most important safety messages of 'recognise, react and report'.
"Our message is very simple, it's linking Daniel's story to the importance of personal safety," Bruce said.
"We see the reaction from students and it's clear they listen and absorb those messages, otherwise we would've given it up years ago.
"Things don't just happen on the other side of the world, they can happen in your backyard, anywhere, anytime.
"Our three key messages to Ipswich kids are to focus on recognising body signals, reacting by getting yourself to a safe location and reporting what has happened to you by creating a safety network of people that reside with you and some that don't live with you at home."
For more visit danielmorcombe.com.au