The Duchess of Cornwall is urging anyone that’s worried about a loved one or friend that could be suffering from domestic violence to “reach in” and help them, especially amid the pandemic.
Writing in The Guardian, Camilla cited statistics showing a sharp increase in domestic violence since March, adding that cases globally are escalating by 20%. More than a third of specialist services in the UK have reported an increase in support requests.
Camilla wrote: “Six months ago, our country went into lockdown. Almost immediately, we saw both the best and the worst of human behaviour. For many, charity truly began at home, with family members caring for shielding relatives, and neighbours pulling together in new and different ways. But for some, it was abuse, rather than charity, that began at home.”Embed from Getty Images
She then went on to discuss her fear for the two-thirds of victims who say they feel unable to seek help because of a fear of repercussions. As patron of the charity SafeLives, Camilla says she read “heartbreaking” stories form those living in abusive relationships over the last few months.
“Far too often, those living with abuse do feel there is no one to help. I have learned how vital it is to spread the word about the help that is available. For any readers in that situation, please know that you are not alone.”
The Duchess highlighted the work of the UK’s Say No More campaign which is a campaign that sets up a network of safe spaces including spaces at Boots, Superdrug, and Morrisons pharmacies to help those struggling, find a place to get support.
“If you request a private appointment in a consultation room, you will be given information about how to access national advice lines and local specialist services,” said the Duchess.
“In these situations a simple enquiry can be incredibly powerful. Simply asking ‘are you all right?’”
Camilla finished by saying she is “deeply grateful” for the Guardian’s coverage of domestic violence issues.
“I have often said that domestic violence is characterised by silence: of the abused, of the abuser and of those who don’t know how to intervene. But the media have the ability to break this corrosive silence: bringing us the voices of victims; shattering the taboo; and raising awareness of what we can all do to stop this heinous crime.”
Camilla became patron of SafeLives in June of this year.