Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Crime: online abuse material increasing substantially due to Covid-19 lockdown measures

In this “Secure In Mind” episode, it was a privilege to welcome Neil Walsh to the podcast for a second time. Neil is the Chief of Cyber-Crime & Money Laundering at the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime. Please listen to this episode – the impacts of COVID extend beyond the hospital bed and awareness raising is key

20 Mag 2020

In the space of a circa 40 minute conversation, Neil and I pivot from an opening filled with genuine good humour and laughter about the current niggles that we are experiencing (my talking tongues to wardrobes / Neil’s ill-fitting slacks) through to the seriousness of suffering for so many victims of physical and sexual abuse of (mostly) children and women in a world of lockdown.

dal 14 al 17 giugno 2022
FORUM PA 2022. Cybersecurity: rafforzare la difesa della PA e del paese

We humans are an amazingly resilient species, having managed to survive (for now!) amidst an eternal carousel of quarks and quasars. Our evolution, and indeed evolution as a process, is marked by constant, often painful ascendancies to new levels of physiological capacity and / or cognition and intelligence. Unnoticed by our everyday conscious selves, we are continuously learning and growing at the cellular level. The push and pull of the individual and the greater global society catalyses in our species growth and at this level we can and do actively and indirectly play a part. Fundamental to this is our collective ability to expose our wounds to effective remedies rather than letting them fester… an ability not always leveraged due to fear or uneasiness resulting in avoidance. Shining a spotlight is the only way we can see what needs to be fixed.

Info on our guest here.

The life of victims / responders i.e. law enforcement / or the perpetrators themselves is shocking to many folks simply because it is not part of their day to day. Of course, the life of an impoverished and starving refugee escaping a war zone in bare foot is also a shocking reality. I could go on but the point I want to draw is that these realities exist, regardless if many are ignorant, wilfully, or not. Indeed, ignoring or shifting onus of phenomena such as child abuse and domestic abuse to that of a dark deity by using terms grounded in intangible contexts – ‘demonising’ – does not help to mitigate or effectively contain and prevent it here on planet earth. I raise this point since it is incredibly easy to categorise what has been identified in numerous studies as a neurological anomaly as evil – incredibly easy and incredibly true since the word evil is (correctly) attributed to that which causes immense pain and suffering. But just as we have increased life-spans and quality of existence (according to most metrics you can run a ruler over) through science and practicality rather than voodoo or our heads in the sand, so too can we at best prevent and at least minimise this pain-causing phenomenon as well.

In short, child abuse and domestic abuse are devastating issues, currently amplified by perpetrators spending more time at home with their victims and evidenced by a vast increase in new generated abuse material available on darknet and clearnet platforms. Organisations like UNODC, LE, Intel etc. can and do combat this through the application of multiple, practical strategies – they do an incredible job amid the deluge of horror they have to wade through.

I’ll leave the reader now to press play and let the podcast do the talking as is its purpose. There are links at the bottom of the page. One in particular stands out: it is the result of decades and more spent by UNODC and associated stakeholders (LE / intel / Civil Society / Aid) trying to tackle a societal ill, facing an equal or greater amount of the same problem day after day. This link tries to nip a potential calamity in the bud before it has jumped the cranial firewall of a would-be perpetrator. It is the necessary confrontation of a sickness epitomised in a link borne of prevention, and as Neil comments during the podcast, if this awareness-raising means that even one individual halts an urge before it manifests in the real-world – a real-world with real-world pain, suffering and consequence – then the awareness has served its purpose.

This podcast has a mixed bag of listeners, some of whom know the challenges faced in fighting the above problems all too well. Some of the listeners do not share this level of insight. For both segments, share this episode: not because you enjoyed it – because you may not – but because it needs to be shared to raise awareness to either encourage victims to come forward or encourage potential perpetrators to seek help before, not after, the fact..

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Nick Kelly Bio

Nick is someone who, in many senses, is just like you; a human being trying to make sense of this existence of ours as we hurtle around a ball of gas in a sea of infinite eternity. More relevant though are his vacillations in the world amongst diverse countries and environments

Collaborating, negotiating, elaborating and celebrating with fascinating people from all walks of life including politics, technology, activism, military and intelligence the world over. He brings this unique breadth of perspective to the table and has a dogged interest in pursuing the human story behind the title or policy, appreciating the fact that underneath all of our bravado, political correctness and dichotomous states of creation and destruction, we are, after all, merely mortals trying to make the best of it.

Notes (credits)

This episode sits on a for profit platform for the convenience of access to a large audience, for which I am grateful! It means the messages, conversations, controversies and more that are discussed in Secure in Mind can reach a wide audience of English speaking, risk and security loving enthusiasts the world over.

As our world shifts, so does our awareness, commitment and action to design and build new frameworks of structural norms to achieve what we all want – enough food on the table, a roof over the head, shared positive experiences and all this in a peaceful, secure environment.

This shifting of a world must also set its sights on raising up the levels of support, respect and, from a practical day to day level, financial remuneration and protections for people in front line positions throughout the world.


This is the link to find a reporting portal for online child sexual abuse.

A link for individuals who may be at risk of becoming perpetrators.

Jackson Katz TEDx re gender-based violence is a man’s issue – this is a must watch.