Well it’s true, isn’t it? At least in the UK it is, where centuries of patriarchal programming has instilled upon us British men an inherited predisposition to stifle one’s emotions. Whether it’s the fallout from our stiff-upper-lip wartime conditioning or a deeply entrenched view from generations of Fathers explaining to their sons that crying is for sissies, one thing has always been made clear — boys don’t cry.

And on most occasions, I’m as guilty a subscriber to this social stereotype as any, but last month was different. I gave a talk on the story of Blue Bear Coffee Co…

Photo credit getty images.

You may have thought there were only so many times one could buy a 3ft Spongebob Squarepants, but you’d be wrong. In fact, it was the fourth time that week he’d found his way into our basket, alongside many more of his cuddly colleagues from the Toy Kingdom on Harrods’ third floor.

It was nearly Christmas and the store brimmed with hyperactive children, dashing from one display to the next, pressing their parents into buying some last-minute stocking fillers. …

Photo credit International Justice Mission (IJM)

Earlier this year the National Crime Agency reported that Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM*) can be accessed on the internet with just three clicks of a mouse. The mistaken belief that such egregious sights can only be unearthed in the depths of the dark web, hidden in password-protected, paedophilic chat rooms, has, it appears, been proven erroneous. In fact, a study recently found that 70% of cybersex trafficking cases (the pay-per-view live-streaming of child sexual abuse) takes place on the surface web, repurposing the familiar global platforms we use to communicate, socialise and share our lives with.

The NSPCC warned…

Sonia was 23 when I met her. She graduated from university the previous year with a degree in industrial engineering but after 18 months of unanswered job applications, she’d become desperate. She had been waiting tables in a restaurant, but the manager had to let her go, in order to give her position to one of his children. Her studies had left her in debt, and she was acutely aware of the pressure she was now putting on her parents, who were already struggling financially. …

Bryn Frere-Smith

Anti Trafficking Campaigner, Founder of The Justice Business CIC and Host of the Justice & Coffee Podcast.

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