Xenia Schembri is the Co-founder of At The Ark, a charity that supports families of children who have been abused. She and her husband went through their own journey (which you can read in the 'about us' section on this website). She is a wife, qualified counsellor, pastor and mum of 4 adult children and step mum of 3 adult children.
When Xenia's children disclosed the abuse that was happening to them, she felt ill-equipped and guilty. One of the reasons for these feelings was because she didn't know the abuse was happening, another was because she felt she had failed as a mum in protecting them and another reason was that she had never had that awkward 30-minute conversation with her children, which may have protected them. This was mainly due to the fact that she felt that she didn't know how to start it or how to say it without frightening them. Xenia wished, after the fact, that she could have had that 30-minute of uncomfortable conversation to save her children years of pain and she may have been able to protect her children more. She never wants another adult to suffer these same feelings, so, one of her life's goal is now is, to help parents, carers, educators and others, understand the importance of teaching children self-protective behaviours. 'The most common age for sexual abuse to begin is 9 years old, if we can equip our children early we have a chance of protecting them and, in turn, we can change the statistics'.
After going to Fiji in 2016 Xenia could see that there were children that had the same look as her children did and she wanted to help them know what abuse is about. A discussion with a child who said that she had seen 'abuse awareness' videos and that she thought 'ah, poor children', instead of recognising the abuse that was going on in her life, which had become so normal to her, led Xenia to write this vital book series to empower children with the life skill of self-protection.