Women involved in prostitution cannot wait for support until after a final report is published. The Government must take urgent action now to ensure women involved in prostitution have the support they need. Otherwise, more women will lose their lives or experience even more awful and unnecessary suffering.
One morning last year, my year 13 form tutor told us she wasn't a feminist. Silence descended. Noticing the distinct lack of approving nods and the much more emphatic shiftiness and thumb-twiddling before her, our teacher hastily added "but obviously I believe in gender equality." She couldn't have paid us to keep quiet.
As I head towards my fifth anniversary leading the IWF, there is one consistent factor - we're always changing and growing and 2015 was no exception. Today we'll be publishing our latest figures. What stands out, is the dramatic increase in the number of confirmed reports of illegal imagery since we started actively searching for child sexual abuse images and videos.
Just grow up, eh? The sad thing is Stephen, victims of child abuse 'grow up' the second the abuse starts and they never get their childhood back. I was abused at the age of 12, not by an uncle but a former employee at my father's business. I've experienced my fair share of self pity over the years, especially when thinking about my lost childhood. However ugly you think that is, I think I'm entitled to feel that way from time to time. And you know what, it's funny you said no one is going to like me for feeling sorry for myself. That's exactly what I thought when I planned taking my own life a few years ago.
Deaf women in Uganda were missing out on so much in life that I was inspired to set up the United Deaf Women's Organisation (UDEWO), in 2002. As executive director, I've been working to support and empower women ever since - I want to see a society where we are treated as equals. There were more than 126,000 deaf people in Uganda in 2002, and many of those are women.
Our obsession with scandal and high profile abusers obscures just how much of an epidemic child abuse is. Instead of only focussing on the latest juicy story we must pay more attention to the signs that could help us interrupt and prevent child abuse. When children run away from home or care, they are often running from something. Theirs are childhoods blighted by abuse, violence, family instability, and parental drug or alcohol misuse. For girls particularly, running away can be an attempt to escape sexual violence and abuse.
That might sound strange to you, but for many, many years I considered my breasts to be dirty. Not literally - I am quite a regular showerer thank you - but that's how they made me feel. If I was someone where I felt uncomfortable, walking through a quiet park alone at dusk, or down a quiet street after dark, it was my breasts I focused on.
We've got to get better at reaching all of these women and girls. At recognising the ways in which gender, trauma, poverty, race, and other forms of inequality combine together to trap them. We need systems and services to recognise when women are experiencing these multiple forms of disadvantage, and to provide safe, effective, trauma and gender informed support.
I could probably list a hundred reasons why I love Glasgow, with everything from the culture, music, architecture, nightlife, and countless restaurants, to buskers and bagpipers on Buchanan Street, the Clyde, the Duke of Wellington with his ever-stylish traffic cone hat, and, of course, the people of Glasgow themselves.