Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Speaks Out to Empower Women Against 'Tragic' Reality of Domestic Abuse

The Duchess, who has been vocal about domestic abuse for years, writes: "Thousands of lives have been lost ... [we must increase] our efforts to raise awareness to empower victims"

Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall last week. Photo: GEOFF PUGH/getty

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall continues to speak up for women who have survived abuse.

The Duchess, 74, penned a powerful letter to highlight a "tragic statistic" — one that hasn't changed in many years.

"Two women are killed every week by a current or former former partner in England and Wales," she wrote in the latest issue of WI Life, which is sent to members of the Women's Institute. "This tragic statistic has not altered in several decades. Thousands of lives have been lost."

She also noted that abuse can take many forms, including economic and coercive control, and that it affects people from all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. Witness: One in four women still live with abuse in this homes.

"As our knowledge of different types of abuse increases," she wrote, "so must our efforts to raise awareness to empower victims to recognise the signs and to seek help."

Camilla, who has made countering domestic abuse one of her key priorities in her public work, praised the WI's own campaigning on the issue and made note of the 50th anniversary of the charity's first Refuge space.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on November 14, 2021 in London, England.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on Remembrance Sunday, with Kate Milddleton and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage

Her written plea comes a day after she joined much of the rest of the royal family for Remembrance Sunday. (Sadly, Queen Elizabeth, 95, couldn't be among them as she has sprained her back.)

Camilla is a member of the WI in both Tetbury, Gloucestershire and Llandovery, Wales. The WI is an organization of volunteers and community champions, which has around 200,000 members across the U.K.

The Queen is also a member and tries to attend a public meeting near her Sandringham House home once a year.

Ann Jones, chairperson of the NFWI, said in a statement: "The Duchess' fellow WI members share her passion for addressing this issue and creating a safer world for women."

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"The terrible events of this year have reinforced how far we have still to go before our homes and public spaces are truly safe for women. WI members across the country are determined to redouble their efforts to make sure that all women and girls can live the lives they choose, free from the fear of abuse."

"On the 50th anniversary since the first Refuge opened in the UK, WI members continue to support and build relationships with their local refuges through volunteering, collecting donations of essential items and raising vital funds."

Duchess of Cornwall
Peter Nichols/getty

Ruth Davison, Refuge Chief Executive Officer, added, "As Refuge marks our 50th anniversary we recognise the many landmarks that have been achieved across the women's movement in the last half a century but recognise there is still much work to be done to ensure women and children can live a life free from abuse."

She also thanked the Duchess for "for raising vital awareness of this issue and shining a light on how complex cases of domestic abuse are, ranging from physical violence to emotional abuse, tech abuse and economic abuse."

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