Camilla: Everyone should be helping end violence against women

The Duchess told the anti-domestic violence event: ‘The figures are shocking’

Tony Jones
Thursday 23 June 2022 13:45

The Duchess of Cornwall has called on every man and woman in the Commonwealth to take “personal responsibility” for ending violence against women and the laws that discriminate against them.

In a major speech, Camilla, who has campaigned on the issue of domestic abuse for years, said whether we know it or not every everyone will have met someone who has suffered at the hands of a partner.

And she described the “heart-breaking” ordeal three women endured in abusive relationships, but said “sadly” their stories were “not unusual”.

The Duchess told the anti-domestic violence event convened in the Rwandan capital Kigali by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland: “The figures are shocking.

The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and H.E. Jeannette Kagame, the First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda (Chris Jackson/PA)

“Globally, nearly one in three women have been abused in their lifetime.

“In times of crisis, the numbers rise, as they have, dramatically, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Across the Commonwealth, calls to domestic violence helplines have increased by up to 500% over the past two years.

“Whether we are aware of it or not, we all know someone who has endured sexual or domestic abuse. We can, therefore, all be part of combatting these heinous acts.”

Camilla echoed the words of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame when she said “we are seeking rights, not favours” on the issue of equality.

Each one of us must take personal responsibility not to let this opportunity be lost

Camilla

The Duchess said: “We are seeking rights that have been denied to women and girls in every part of the world: Joanna Simpson in the UK, beaten to death by her husband while their two small children were in the next room; Noreen in Pakistan, whose husband, a drug addict, routinely abused her and alternately threw her out of the house or forbade her to go outside; and Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, murdered in Nigeria as she studied in church.

“These stories are heart-breaking. But, given the statistics I have just quoted, they are, sadly, not unusual.”

The Duchess highlighted how the Commonwealth’s member states have pledged their support to an initiative to prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse, which the event was promoting, and said: “There is power in this alliance.”

She added: “In so doing, we have the opportunity to end gender-based violence and those laws and practices that discriminate against women.

“And each one of us must take personal responsibility not to let this opportunity be lost.”

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