When my ex-partner tried to murder me by putting a gun to my head, I was at the top of my game. I had reached a point with my PR companies where I was the go-to for giving voice to the voiceless; I was winning awards for making waves in marketing and diversity. Yes, I consider myself to be an intelligent woman. I also had a vast circle of friends and colleagues and a close-knit family. My greatest obstacle to freedom was my own overbearing feeling of shame.
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.
Liam is 10 years old. His best friend is Lola, a miniature schnauzer. The photo above shows the two together - best mates hanging out. But Liam doesn't know where his canine playmate is right now because she was snatched by dog thieves last year. All he wants is for her to come back home, back where she belongs..
If we care about children's safety, it is time we focused scarce resources on preventing abuse - by better protecting children and by helping those with the potential to offend to lead good lives. Such an approach is better for children, better for families and better for those with the potential to do children harm. It is also better for the public purse. Child sexual abuse is preventable. It is not inevitable.
Surprising stuff at the IARS Victim conference last week as a UK Government Minister appeared to falter over victim led justice by suggesting that the EU Victim Directive 2012/29/EU ("The Victim Directive") required new domestic law and would need further consultation before implementation on the meaning of "victim".
It is time to focus on the quality of delivery, not issue new policy documents. The process to review and support practitioners working in these specialised courts, which used to be in place and was abandoned, needs to be revitalised. And in revitalising that, the courts themselves need to be re-energised and need to look at new developments in the evidence
It is serious enough if police fail to investigate a major crime or mishandle something which leads to the deaths of innocent people - to then try to damage the reputation of the family and friends or the victims to cover up failings is a dreadful and cynical thing to do and we should not tolerate it.
The aggressive questioning of vulnerable witnesses in court was exposed again this week with solicitor general Oliver Heald calling for change at the dispatch box. We've all heard stories of children - many of them victims of horrific sex crimes - being thrown to the wolves in court and it needs to stop.
We all know crime doesn't pay, but we increasingly expect it to pay back. Of course the true cost of crime isn't financial: it's the pain and misery caused to innocent victims and communities. Yet at the moment criminals contribute less than one pound in every six to supporting victims. This balance is utterly wrong and it needs to change now.