The Duchess of Cornwall has become Patron of SafeLives, a domestic abuse charity.
The Duchess will join a worldwide online festival today to discuss her longstanding work on domestic abuse and to announce her new patronage of SafeLives. The online festival is a 24-hour live event. The Duchess’ conversation has been pre-recorded, but she will discuss how she learned about domestic abuse issues and how hearing the stories of survivors has encouraged her to help bring people together to tackle the problem. She will speak with the founder of the festival, Jude Kelly, Suzanne Jacob, the Chief Executive of SafeLives, and Gina Miller, campaigner and survivor of domestic abuse.
During the conversation, The Duchess says: “It’s not a nice subject to talk about, and I think that’s been one of its problems. It’s been a taboo subject for so long that people just haven’t talked about it.
“As I’ve said before, silence is corrosive because it leaves the victims feeling both shame and blame. I wanted to lift the shroud of this silence and get more women, children and men to talk about their experiences. And it is happening in a slow way, but it is such a traumatic experience that I think it becomes sort of locked into a compartment inside them, and it’s very difficult to find the key to unlocking.”
Discussing the new patronage, Suzanne Jacob, CEO of SafeLives says: “I am fiercely proud and hugely honoured to say that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to become our Patron at SafeLives.
“The way that she speaks to people directly and really listens unravels some of the harm, the terrible harm that abusive people do to the people they are supposed to love the most. They tell them that they don’t matter, that nobody cares about them, that nobody will believe them, and Her Royal Highness is making it absolutely clear that that is not true. That anybody who lives with an experience of domestic abuse is valuable, is going to be listened to.”
WOW founder Jude Kelly adds: “It’s marvellous to use your voice strengthening this space even further. I know that Suzanne and the charity are immensely grateful and it’s going to mean that you can carry on being a beacon of hope for people who really can’t find visibility and aren’t allowed to come out from the margins.”
The segment featuring the Duchess of Cornwall will be streamed here at 6 P.M. BST.