So, 2016 is over and will forever be in the past. As each year passes I always take time to reflect. Did I truly live this year? Was I the person I want to be? For me as with so many others 2016 was a mixed bag for me. Professionally it was the year every business dreams of, big clients, media coverage. Most importantly the opportunity to support social enterprises I am so proud to put my name too. There are too many highlights to mention, let’s just say professionally I have had an awesome year.

Personally 2016 was challenging

Personally 2016 bought me challenges (including a death of someone close) that seemed too high to climb alone, but luckily, I did not have to climb them alone. Friends stepped up and offered support, just when I thought I would break, a kindness would fill my life with light and smiles. As I ended 2016 the challenge was won and I can see clear skies ahead.

So many talented people died

2016 will probably be remembered as the year we lost too many celebrities. I know there is a school of thought that says we didn’t know them, so it is shallow to grieve them. But I am one of those who felt the loss. David Bowie dying made me sad. Under Pressure was released in 1982 and I felt less alone simply by listening to it – it remains my favourite song of all time. Being English so much laughter involved Victoria Wood and her special brand of comedy magic. Along with many other oh so talented people. It ended with Carrie Fisher dying followed by her Mum just a day later, literally mad me cry.

71 women were violently murdered in Australia

In 2016 according to Destroy the Joint who have the horrible task of Counting Dead Women the number is down to 71 in 2016 compared to 80 in 2015. But it is 71 too many. The last woman to die in 2016 was Sarah Thomas who was killed in a court house after mediation. I am going to say that again because it truly is beyond belief. Sarah Thomas was killed on 20th December in a courthouse. If this is happening, we clearly have a way to go.

We need to keep domestic violence on the agenda

The number of women murdered decreased by 9 in 2016, which is an improvement and if we improve by 9 a year we will still be seeing women dying due to violence in 2022. The Governments The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and with these statistics we simply have to stay focused.

Now is the time to keep the conversation going. Which as Moo Baulch said got more sophisticated, but also to act. Because domestic violence is about more than the deaths. Because is the thing that made me so sad about Debbie Reynolds death is she died grieving and in pain, nobody wants to end their life like that. Imagine your last moments being tortured and beaten by someone you thought loved you and whom you have loved. The abuse and fear that preceded the moment of death, being broken down physically and mentally is hard to think about. But if we are to help bring about change we must acknowledge if an emotional level. Not just as merely another statistic.

I am proud of the work I and many others do because the more knowledge and awareness there is the more likely it is action will be taken. Because domestic violence is complex and the we understand it the better equipped we are to deal with it.

Safety in the home is everybodies right.

I am luckily enough to say I had a happy and save Christmas filled with love and joy. I know how lucky I am. Because I now have the security and blessing of feeling safe in my home every day and that is a wonderful gift so many still do not have. So, let’s keep this on the agenda because in doing so we honour those killed and it truly will save lives.