Safe to 16: A course to protect children against sexual offenders

Chapter ~ 1


History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children
~ Nelson Mandela

This lesson consists of four modules:

The problem

Nearly a quarter of Aotearoa New Zealand’s population of 5 million are children under 18.

A recent UNICEF report shows that our children’s well-being is not in great shape. A significant contributor to generational poor well-being is the amount of recurring child sex abuse.

Extensive studies estimate 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are indecently assaulted or sexually violated before they turn 18.

Let’s apply these numbers to our next generation:

Around 60,000 babies are born every year in Aotearoa New Zealand

Over the next generation of 20 years, if we do NOTHING, over 150,000 children will lose their innocence and potentially open up huge pathways of self-destruction.

Unfortunately, due to the explosion in internet traffic, the problem is getting worse. Child abuse pictures and video, social media, live streaming, the dark web, have created unprecedented opportunities for child sexual exploitation.

The consequences if we do nothing:

Although PREVENTION is our primary focus, we should touch on the consequences of an unlawful sexual connection – for a child.
The Consequences of Sexual Abuse

Grim reading…

I know that some of you who are reading this will have gone through the trauma of sexual abuse, (just as I did), and somehow come out the other side. (If you’re looking for help please go to

We have a duty to ensure that our babies are protected from people who commit these offences.

Through my work I discovered how an offender behaves. The behaviour is predictable.

Once you know the behaviour, it is easy to identify.

The offender’s mindset:

What is in a subject’s mind that thinks that sexually abusing a child under 16 is alright?

With my background and experience, I can tell you, most importantly, the offender knows that the behaviour is wrong. However they believe that they can get away with the offending!

It starts with a thought, (the largest sex organ is apparently the brain) where the subject gets aroused by fantasising about an event. Once he/she relieves themselves of the stress of the event, the first brick in the wall is removed…. thoughts become obsessive, rationalised and minimised. Deep down the offender knows it’s wrong (otherwise why keep it a secret?) however they choose to act out their fantasies.

Is it wrong? – YES – for three reasons:

1. It’s against the law to have a sexual connection with a child under 16.

2. The child has no choice in the matter – they don’t have the experience or ability to say no.

3. It is THEFT – of a child’s innocence.

Offenders keep their behaviour a SECRET, while coercing victims into a place where they can commit criminal acts.

They are master manipulators and work very hard to influence your thinking about them. Even when the evidence is overwhelming there will be people who will defend the offender, believing that the subject wouldn’t do ‘anything like that’.

It can cause major family conflict and divisions.

I’ve interviewed and arrested these offenders. They look and act like people in our community – because they are!

So now you know what the potential consequences are if we do NOTHING, and what is going on in the mind of an offender.

In Chapter 2 we’re going learn how to identify a potential offender.

How to become a S.T.A.R.

We’ve created the word S.T.A.R. to help you remember each of the four tools that will keep your children safe and protected while they are in your care.

Here’s the 1st tool:


For generations offenders have manipulated children into ‘keeping secrets’ from their parents.

Whether it be special treatment or threatening behaviour, children are led to believe that they would ‘get into trouble’ if their parents found out.

So the first step to become a S.T.A.R. is to create an agreement with your children that there will be NO SECRETS between you. (This is different to a surprise, ie a surprise birthday party.)

We’ll show you how to set up the conversation with your children and others in Chapter 4.

In the meantime remember that;