No! My body belongs to me!

SCORES of students stood up yesterday and chanted a sentence they hope they will never have to use.

"No! My body belongs to me!"

As part of their state-wide tour, Bruce and Denise Morcombe appeared at Chanel College in Gladstone yesterday to deliver an important safety message.

"This is not just about abduction," said Mr Morcombe.

"This is about child protection in general.

"Kids have a right to learn, they have a right to play.

"Daniel was a real boy who found himself in a situation he couldn't control.

"The message we have is simple. 'It could happen to you too.'"

It has been a tough few weeks for the Morcombes, with the discovery of human bones, confirmed to be Daniel's, found at a search site at the Glass House Mountains on August 21.

Some questioned whether the discovery would force the Morcombes to cancel their child protection tour, which has been planned since May.

"If there was something we could do to assist searchers, or to hold a funeral for Daniel, we would have thought about it," Mr Morcombe said.

"But we can't."

In what was both a practical and emotional hour, Mr Morcombe described how hope that Daniel was still alive faded for the family in different ways.

"For Denise, I think hope truly faded three and a half weeks ago when an arrest was made," he said.

"For me, it was some years earlier.

"It was a case of your heart wanting for Daniel to be alive, but your head telling you that it wasn't the case."

"We may never know exactly what happened to Daniel, but we do know that he didn't get a second chance.

"That chance is yours."

 

The Morcombes' tips to keeping safe

  • Be observant.
  • Travel with a friend
  • Always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Have a 'family password.' This will help you if anybody claims to be a trusted friend or family member. Password examples are the name of a first pet or a favourite meal.
  • Have five trusted adults that you can talk to. These can be teachers, family members or parents of friends.