The horrifying reality of domestic abuse is that it happens in the home, often over a period of time in which abuse may escalate into severe violence. However because of the ongoing nature of this sort of crime, it becomes inexcusable that there is a deficiency in effective intervention and prevention.
As I learned from this event - and from the Global Summit in general - the effects of globalisation and immigration mean that the West can no longer sit back and allow the suffering of ethnic groups, particularly as some of their members now walk the streets of our egalitarian nation. Hopefully, this modest event was a first step in creating a dialogue between Somali victims and the international community about the reality of life as a minority in Somalia, and what we can do to help.
This week has seen a flurry of activity around an issue that for far too long has been forgotten, silenced or viewed as an inevitable consequence of war: sexual violence in conflict. All of this is extremely important - but in the rush to 'do something' about the horrific crimes being committed in Syria, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and other conflict zones, we should not forget some basic premises.
The truth is that sexual violence - in warfare and otherwise - is still a choice someone has made. And at the moment it is a choice that will likely never see any form of redress or retribution. By teaching women who have been raped about their rights, supporting them to prosecute rapists and getting them vital medical support, we are not only helping survivors get the justice they deserve and crave, we are making a statement.
If Blackstone's Formulation is based on the principle that the state should not cause undue or mistaken harm then we need to seriously consider the harm to victims of rape and sexual assault who are subjected to an horrendous ordeal and then tragically failed by a system which allows them to be discredited and humiliated in the name of justice and all too often their courage in coming forward turns out to be in vain.
Foreign Secretary William Hague deserves a lot of credit for helping to persuade the Burmese government to sign this declaration, but he should remember Thein Sein's broken promise on releasing all political prisoners by the end of last year, and keep up the pressure to make sure he keeps his word this time.
Consent is a word we may think we have an understanding of, given its commonplace and importance in the law. But when it comes to sex and relationships we need to clarify and talk far more openly about it, particularly in schools, to help combat the widespread sexual violence against women; a problem that is reaching alarming levels.