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'Corrosive' silence around domestic abuse can kill, warns Camilla

By Hannah Stubbs

Published 15/07/2016

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to singer Alesha Dixon during the reception for survivors of domestic abuse at Clarence House in London
The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to singer Alesha Dixon during the reception for survivors of domestic abuse at Clarence House in London
The Duchess of Cornwall giving an address during the event
The Duchess of Cornwall with actress Julie Walters
The Duchess of Cornwall with actor Sir Patrick Stewart

The Duchess of Cornwall has urged urge society to challenge the "corrosive" silence that surrounds domestic violence.

Camilla hosted a reception for survivors of domestic abuse and those working in the field at Clarence House, London, yesterday. She highlighted the problems caused by shame around admitting to being a victim of violence.

Each year, around 2.1 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse - 1.4 million women, the equivalent of 8.5% of the population, and 700,000 men.

Camilla pledged to help victims after hearing the harrowing stories of women who have suffered at the hands of partners. After visiting SafeLives, a national charity that works to safeguard those at risk from harm from partners or family members, she was visibly moved.

At the reception, the Duchess said: "Domestic abuse remains a hidden problem in our society. It is characterised by silence - silence from those who 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 their abuse and it prevents them from getting help. And at its worst, it can be fatal."

Earlier this year, Camilla met survivors of domestic violence and described them as "some of the bravest women I have been privileged to meet".

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