Camilla pays tribute to women whose lives were “brutally ended”


The Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to those whose lives have been ‘brutally ended’ as she called for action to prevent violence against women.

Camilla acknowledged a number of women who died in violent circumstances, including Sarah Everard, at a reception for The Shameless! Festival at the Wellcome Collection in London.

While urging that their names “never be forgotten,” she recalled a victim impact statement read in court by Sarah Everard’s mother, Susan, calling it “serious.”

The Duchess said: “Each of these women suffered unimaginable torments – and their loved ones who remained behind continue to suffer as a result of their deaths.

“On September 30, Sarah Everard’s mother stood in front of her daughter’s murderer to deliver a dazzling impact statement to him. “

After quoting from the statement, the Duchess added: “I know all of you here join me today in paying homage to all of those precious lives that have been brutally ended and in renewing our commitment to do all that is necessary. in our power to end violence against women.

The same day Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens was arrested, a poll was released indicating that 86% of young women in the UK have been sexually harassed in a public space, Camilla said.

She added that a crime survey for England and Wales has shown that 144,000 women have been raped or attempted rape in the past year, which equates to around 16 every time.

Camilla said she was hoping for the next Shameless! Festival – a collaboration between the WOW Foundation (Women of the World), of which she is the president, and Birkbeck, the SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters) project at the University of London – would help to create a world free from violence in the world. towards women.

“Together today, let us resolve to help survivors be ‘shameless’ and not come to terms with inappropriate feelings of stigma,” she said.

“By talking about our experiences, we break the wall of silence that allows perpetrators of violence to go unpunished and increases the sense of isolation that so many survivors describe.”

She also urged men to get involved in the movement, saying they need to be “on board” to tackle violence against women.

“Because how many women have yet to be harassed, raped or murdered before we truly come together to forge a world free from violence?” Camille asked.

The Duchess of Cornwall (left) with Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie (Peter Nichols / PA)

Prior to the reception, Camilla met Jude Kelly, Founder and Director of the WOW Foundation, and Julia Gillard, President of Wellcome, which supports the festival.

Other guests at the event included Carrie Johnson, members of the WOW Foundation and representatives of the Birkbeck SHaME project.

Ms Johnson, who was reportedly personally invited to the event by the Duchess, was seen practicing her courtesy ahead of Camilla’s arrival.

Camilla, who was wearing a black dress and a WOW badge, greeted Ms Johnson as she arrived and said, “Hi Carrie, very glad to see you.”

At the start of the event, Camilla took the stage alongside Ms Kelly and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, now President of the Wellcome Trust.

Ms Gillard made the audience laugh by asking if she should name Ms Johnson as the ‘First Lady’, to which the Prime Minister’s wife replied ‘Absolutely not! And laughed.

Julia Gillard (left) speaks as Jude Kelly watches
Julia Gillard (left) speaks as Jude Kelly watches (Peter Nichols / PA)

A glass of wine was seen spilled behind Ms Johnson at the same time. Ms Gillard jokingly apologized and said that in Australia they had a ‘first guy’. “Thank you very much for that,” Ms. Johnson said with a smile.

Shame! The festival will take place at the Battersea Arts Center on November 27, where it aims to “bring together activism and art to confront and change attitudes towards sexual violence”.

Camilla has previously been an advocate for the prevention and treatment of the problem of sexual violence and harassment.

In 2017, she worked with Boots to launch the Wash Bag Project, a program that provides a toiletry bag of toiletries to survivors of sexual abuse across the UK.

In March last year, she spoke about domestic violence at the Women of the World festival and recorded a video message for the United Nations Day to End Violence Against Women in November.

In September, the Duchess was appointed godmother of the Mirabel Sexual Assault Center in Lagos.

Ms Kelly said the event was “quite joyous” as some people at the event felt “liberated” due to a safe space to discuss their trauma.

Describing her thoughts on the Duchess’s speech, she told PA: “I think it’s good that she refuses to moderate the message. Because it is too urgent to be shy or diplomatic.

“It’s great to see her at the forefront of the subject. I have known her for a long time now and she wants to know the difficulties of the survivors she has encountered.

She added that she also spoke to Ms Johnson at the event.

“She said ‘Anything I can do to help, call me anytime.’ This [the event] really moved her, ”added Kelly.

Labor MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy, who was also present at the event, told PA: “I think this is such a powerful, powerful and timely festival that they are hosting.

“I was blown away by what the Duchess of Cornwall said. I think it shows that there is a revolution going on where women are not going to put up with it anymore. I think this festival could be a powerful part of that.

She added that it is now incumbent on people like her to “continue this momentum in Parliament”.

“I will certainly try to recruit the Duchess of Cornwall to make the misogyny a hate crime over what she said tonight – she makes a compelling case,” she added.


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