Camilla calls for greater discussion of taboo subject
The “taboo subject” of domestic abuse must be brought out into the open and talked about it, according to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
“We all need to understand what coercive control is, how insidious it is, and how often it leads to repeated violence,” she said at the launch of the 10th annual Women of the World (WOW) festival in London.
Of domestic violence, she said: “I find it almost impossible to think that any friend of mine might be living under that horrific threat, without my knowing it. But that is the power of coercive control and violence in the home.
“It is characterised by silence: silence from those that suffer, silence from those around them, and silence from those who perpetrate abuse. This silence is corrosive; it leaves women, children and men carrying the burden of shame.
“It prevents them from speaking out about the abuse and it prevents them from getting help. And at its worst it can be fatal.”
She continued: “Through my work, I have talked to many women who have lived with coercive control and domestic violence and, thankfully, come out at the other end as the victors not the victims. They are some of the bravest people I have ever met.
“Their stories are harrowing and have reduced even the toughest of their listeners to tears. That is why it is so vital that these survivors should no longer feel any shame or any blame.”
The Duchess also reminded her audience that domestic abuse is a complicated issue, saying: “Of course, it is not only men who abuse and it is not only women who are abused … The campaign to end domestic violence needs the voices of men as well as women, challenging the cultural, economic and political context in which we all experience the world.
“We will all benefit from building a society which will simply not tolerate this heinous crime any longer.”