Belfast Telegraph

Refuge centre thanks Camilla for shining light on domestic violence

Camilla met a number of women who live in the centre with their children due to violence and abuse at home.

The Duchess of Cornwall has visited a refuge centre for victims of domestic violence in Co Cork.

Camilla, who continues to make good on her promise to break the taboo of domestic abuse, has championed the cause for a number of years.

Pauline Dunne, director of services of Cuanlee Women’s Refuge who has been serving the community for over four decades, says the staff and women living in the refuge were “honoured” to have the royal attend their centre.

She said: “When we found out that she had a genuine interest and dedication to helping those affected by domestic violence we were absolutely honoured and thrilled that she wanted to visit.

“The kids are so excited, dressed up, and it’s a big day for them and that’s what matters to us.

It’s important that people know they always have somewhere to come back to, and they are not alone. The first step is sometimes the hardest Camilla

“It’s great that she’s chosen a cause like domestic violence to shine a light on.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate, and it can happen anywhere to anyone.

“We’re happy to have her here.”

Camilla, who has previously admitted personally knowing victims of domestic violence, met a number of women who live in the centre with their children due to violence and abuse at home.

Speaking with one previous resident of the refuge, Camilla hailed the work of Cuanlee saying: “It’s important that people know they always have somewhere to come back to, and they are not alone.

“The first step is sometimes the hardest.”

She went on to visit a unit inside the refuge were families live together, as well as meeting the artist in residence of the refuge who works with traumatised children in art therapy classes.

Artist in residence Terri O’Sullivan said: “I’m delighted to meet her, she’s taken a real interest in the women here, and these women have been some real tough times.

“It’s so important as we tend to stereotype people who have been through domestic violence, so having Camilla here really shows it can happen to anyone.”

Camilla presented the children living in the refuge with a hamper filled with sweets, chocolate and fudge as a parting gift.

The visit was organised as part of Camilla and Prince Charles’ visit to Ireland this week.

The royal couple were in county Cork on Thursday visiting a number of famous sites as well as charities and organisations in which they have an interest.

Prince Charles attended a naval base while Camilla visited the women’s refuge and the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind training centre.

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