I have to admit every now and again I turn into a crusty old git, who is very worldy-wise, been there, done it, seen it, got the T-shirt. My close friends would probably raise an eyebrow at such a statement and whisper in my ear, 'when are you not like that?' illustrating what good friends they are by doing so.
The afternoon sun is beating down on the mountain town of Copan Ruinas in central Honduras. We are a short drive away from San Pedro Sula, a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Gang warfare has divided the city for years, but the violence has steadily increased since the 2009 military coup when the Honduran Army overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.
Misrepresenting someone or something is a big thing. It has potentially vast repercussions, a fact recognised by defamation law, and by the huge fees paid to advertising and PR companies by major brands and public figures. But not everyone has the money or expert advice to take these routes to controlling how they are represented by others.
"If only someone had listened..." is the final report of the Office of the Children's Commissioner's two-year national inquiry into child sexual exploitation by gangs and groups, and presents a compelling case for a "sea change" in the culture of children's services so victims' needs are prioritised...
Companies are not the only ones to have discovered the opportunities offered by an increasingly globalised world. Some 3,600 criminal gangs are active in more than one country in the EU and of those 70% boast an international work force and 30% commit more than one type of crime. Worldwide organised crime costs the global economy €670 billion a year. Crime on this scale can only be successfully be countered at an international level.
The announcement of the World cup and Olympic games in 2014 and 2016 respectively turned the dynamics of the way favelas were neglected by the State. The governor of Rio and mayor shortly announced afterwards that they would be deploying a new tactic called "pacification" to combat crime and liberate the favelas from the control of drug gangs.
The mainstream media's representation of women and its normalising of pornography should be one of our first ports of call when searching for the causes of sexual violence. As we start the new year and look to what we can do to make a difference, let's not forget the young women bearing the impact of a society that does not take media objectification of women seriously. Sexual violence does not exist in a vacuum. One way we can show our collective disgust at its existence is by refusing to accept that women as sex objects is the norm.