I don’t normally cover Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but I want to take a minute and highlight a great cause she is supporting. In recent years, Camilla has taken up the cause of ending sexual violence against women. She has visited a number of rape crisis centers and last year spearheaded an initiative to offer wash kits containing shampoos, soaps, and other such things to women who have reported a sexual assault. That initiative was organized after she met with women who said one of the things they wanted most was to be clean after the assault.
Camilla and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, are currently on a tour of Mexico, having just ended their tour of Colombia. While in Colombia, Camilla met with survivors and campaigners against sexual violence at the Peace and Reconciliation Center in Bogota.
After the discussion, Camilla gave a statement to the Daily Mail:
- “I was humbled by the courage of the Colombian women I met today, who had been raped like so many others, in horrendous circumstances, and I salute their determination to bring rape and sexual abuse out of the shadows into the light.”
I want to commend Camilla for taking up this cause. The issue of sexual violence against women is one that still has so much stigma attached, where there is still so much victim-blaming. So many assaults go unreported, and so many survivors never see justice. It astounds me that in 2014 the issue of sexual violence against women is still a hot-button issue, but it is. Like Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine and their campaigns against sexual violence and abuse of children, I commend Camilla for taking up a cause that is so (unfortunately) controversial. I hope Camilla continues her work with this cause, and becomes even more vocal about it.
Jineth Bedoya, a Colombian journalist who was kidnapped and raped by paramilitary fighters, said of Camilla:
- “To have a woman who is so committed to the topic of sexual violence – to meet her, to talk to her, to listen to her and to learn about her support of this issue -is without a doubt the memory that I take away from this Royal visit and our meeting. The Duchess understands our work and our commitment to making visible the women who have been victims of sexual violence.”
Maria Eugenia Cruz, a survivor and campaigner, said:
- “Sexual violence affects our bodies, our minds and our families. We need more people to speak out and more resources to tackle the issue. I want to empower women and help them understand that they have a right to justice. To make visible the crime of sexual violence and to make women realise it’s not their fault and there is no shame in what has happened to them. Sexual violence requires important people like the Duchess of Cornwall to support victims and make these crimes visible.”
The bag Camilla is wearing in the photos is a traditional Colombian Mochila Bag made by women who were survivors of sexual violence.
Camilla wore a pistachio Anna Valentine suit and my favorite brooch she owns (not sure what kind of flower that is – if anyone knows, please let me know).