Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has vowed to help break the taboo of domestic abuse.
Listening to the harrowing stories of abuse told by a group of women in London on Wednesday, the royal looked moved as she praised them for continuing to talk about their pasts.
“All of you going around and talking about it does create awareness, ” Camilla, 68, said.
The wife of Prince Charles has made it a key part of her public work to highlight the issue of sexual and domestic abuse.
Last year, she wrote of her hope “to shine a light on the violence hiding in the dark corners of our society.”
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On Wednesday morning, Camilla visited the offices of the U.K. charity, SafeLives, where she heard the testimonies of a group of women. She sat in a circle with the women, biting her lip and appeared shaken as the women bravely told their stories of abuse.
“It s so important that people like yourselves speak up, otherwise we gloss over it. And this is too important an issue to ignore,” she said.
Rachel Williams, 43, from Newport, described how she tried to leave her estranged husband after years of abuse during their 18-year marriage. But he gunned her down at the hair salon where she was working.
She managed to defend herself, escaping with an injury to her leg, while another shot just missed her head. But her son Jack could not come to terms with what had happened and took his life at the age of 16. “He could not cope with what his father had done to me,” she said.
After meeting a weeping Camilla called her an “incredibly brave lady.” She added, “Stories like this just have to be aired, otherwise domestic abuse becomes a taboo subject.”