Camilla urges people to talk about domestic abuse after visiting refuge charity

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The Duchess of Cornwall has urged people to continue talking about domestic abuse following a visit to a charity which focuses on refuge housing for victims.

Camilla was given a brief tour of the children’s reception and shared kitchen at VIFILL SOS Femme in Lyon on Tuesday.

At the end of her visit she gave the charity two hampers of baked goods for the women and children to enjoy.

The Duchess of Cornwall urged people to talk about domestic abuse after her visit to SOS Femmes in Lyon, France (Chris Jackson/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall described SOS Femmes in Lyon as ‘incredibly well run’ (Chris Jackson/PA)

“It’s also got the backing of the city and the mayor so it’s financed by them and talking to the ladies they say it’s their safe haven.

“It’s the one place they feel safe, they can get back on their feet, back into work and back into a normal life again.”

When asked about what led her to focus on the issue of domestic violence, the Duchess said: “I think it was this charity Safelives I went to visit.

“I’d always known about domestic abuse – I knew people who’d suffered from it but I’d no idea of the extent or how many people, how many women actually around the world are suffering from it.

“I went to this meeting for Safelives and these incredibly brave women got up and they each told their stories and they were the most moving stories I’ve ever heard.

Camilla talks to women as she visits SOS Femmes that defends women victims of violence, near Lyon (Alex Martin, Pool via AP)
Camilla talks to women as she visits SOS Femmes that defends women victims of violence, near Lyon (Alex Martin, Pool via AP)

She added: “It’s at last making a difference because I think people are beginning to realise what it’s all about and they also realise ‘it’s not only me’ – there’s lots of others who have suffered or are suffering and perhaps I should get up and tell my story, to stop making it such a taboo subject.

Camilla said she believed people need to keep talking about the issue.

She continued: “If we don’t keep talking about it, it’s going to go on, it’s going to get worse. If we talk about it I think a lot of these women here were telling me they come out feeling stronger.

“I’ve always said they come out being victors not victims, which is the important thing.

“And we’ve got to keep on talking about it because hopefully we can stop at some point, obviously not straightaway but the more it happens more people go to court.”

When asked what role she can play to tackle the issue as a member of the royal family, Camilla added: “I don’t know, I think there are so many brilliant people involved in it, who do all the hard work, I can come in and meet the people.

“The more people know about it, the more we can do about it.”

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