Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on the issue of ending sexual violence against women

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on the issue of ending sexual violence against women

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).

35 thoughts on “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on the issue of ending sexual violence against women

  1. Question to someone who lives in GB
    I wondering what people in GB think and say about Kate? Is much the same like the blog or not? They like her or not?

    1. Well there was that Newsweek poll a while back, and that showed that most people didn’t really care about Kate at all.

  2. It is disgusting to me as a man that in 2014, sexual violence worldwide is still secretive and underreported, especially sexual violence against men; 10% of all victims in the US alone are men and yet they are FAR less likely to report than women, of which roughly two-thirds never do, let alone prosecute, let alone get a conviction. However irrespective of gender it is an outrage against humanity and I am very thankful that sexual violence awareness and prevention has so prominent and vocal a patron as the Duchess of Cornwall. Pity Duchess Dolittle can’t be bothered to help her stepmother-in-law out with that. She could be a very effective advocate.

    1. There are people who think men can’t be victims of sexual violence. It’s ridiculous and only hinders men from speaking out about their assaults. More instances of victim-shaming.

      I’m glad Camilla has taken up this cause.

  3. A worthy cause for the Duchess to champion. Congratulations to her for having the sensitivity to meet with women who have been abused and the desire to seek support for them.
    Thank you for posting this. It deserves recognition.

    1. I’m glad that Camilla is getting some love. This is such a good cause that she’s taken up.

  4. Now THIS is a woman of substance! Thanks for your coverage, KMR, it truly shows the difference between a lady who espouses substantial and vitall causes and her layabout do-nothing daughter-in-law.

    1. I’m glad people have commented on Camilla. This cause is such an important one to get behind and I’m glad that she’s chosen to support it.

      1. The cause is indeed worthy and I commend Camilla for her voice and support. However, how is she a “woman of substance”? It may be that the commenters here are too young to remember what she did to Diana and Diana’s marriage. Camilla could have quit seeing Charles once he married or she could have sat down with Diana before the marriage to tell her that she and Charles were going to continue to see one another. There are so many things Camilla (and Charles) could have done differently. Instead, they were cruel to Diana. I just can’t forget that.

        1. I don’t want to sound cruel. I have an admiration for the humanity and compassion of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. However she has been dead for 17 years. The young women in their 20s and 30s who were endlessly fascinated by her life, her work and her fashion when she was in her heyday as Princess of Wales in the early-1980s are now in their 50s and 60s. Many teenagers and people in their 20s only know Camilla as the Prince Charles’ wife and vaguely understand who Diana was but they don’t have the fanatical devotion to her that people in my parents’ generation did. In 10 years, when Charles is King and Camilla is Queen, no one will care what happened between Charles’ first wife and Camilla, decades earlier. Hell, many probably won’t even know Charles’ HAD a first wife. He and Camilla have been married for almost a decade now as is. Men in British royalty and aristocracy have been allowed to have lovers for centuries. Unfortunately there is a double standard. It is not fair. But neither is life. Rather than focus on something that has been laid to rest for almost two decades (no pun or disrespect intended) why don’t we focus on the here and now?

          1. I agree, Seth, it seems sad that no matter what good Camilla has done and how she’s rehabilitated her image, she’ll never be forgiven for Diana despite the good she has done for her country and for the royal family.

          2. What you say about people not caring and maybe not even knowing is, unfortunately, true. I think that’s what saddens me the most. It’s not so much that I think Camilla should be vilified as I wish Diana could be remembered more. This is really not logical of me, but…it seems like if Charles had remarried anyone other than Camilla, Diana’s memory would be more celebrated and cherished.

            I understand about male royals having mistresses, but, as I say, Charles should have sat down with Diana and explained the realities of life and given her a choice to play the game or not.

            As I said, my opinions are completely emotional and not the least bit logical or rational. I do agree with you that it is much more productive and healthy “to focus on the here and now”. I’ll try.

          3. Dag, I didn’t mean in anything I wrote to imply that you don’t have a right to your opinion. It is certainly valid and there are many people who agree with you. I think it is outrageous that the tabloids and the Establishment seemed to focus more on Diana’s lovers (James Gilbey, James Hewitt, Barry Mannakee) then on the Prince of Wales’ affair with Camilla, almost from Diana’s wedding night. But it is the double standard I discussed above. Both Charles and Diana behaved disgracefully. But I am a pragmatist and don’t think people continually talking about a woman who’s been dead for 17 years is healthy or productive. That is simply my view.

          4. ” if Charles had remarried anyone other than Camilla, Diana’s memory would be more celebrated and cherished.”

            I actually disagree, Dag, I think if Charles had married anyone other than Camilla, that woman would have been celebrated way more than the small goodwill Camilla receives (and she doesn’t receive much, it’s been mostly hate forever, and the Evil Camilla storyline is still around). If Charles had married a woman who was not vilified, then Diana would have been even more forgotten while the press built up the other woman.

        2. I’ve said this before about Charles, but I think it’s possible to respect a person for the work they do while not liking them as a person (in certain situations).

      1. I’m saying this as a reflection of Camilla’s role as Duchess of Cornwall, not her personal life. While the latter has left much to be desired, I feel that she has proven herself to be supportive of Charles and very much involved in her causes. She has turned her image around, made Charles a happier man, learned her role and has shown grit in the face of previous public discontent. She has used her royal status to espouse critical causes and displays wit, humor and warmth in her public appearances. Now I believe if she does become queen consort, there won’t be much dissent about it.

        1. And I say this as someone who saw the Diana years and well remember that disastrous marriage and Camilla’s role in its downfall. It was terrible to see the end of that purported fairytale marriage. But time has passed, and Diana is now a distant memory except for those who want to constantly keep her alive as the proverbial specter at the banquet.

  5. What I really liked about it was Camilla had her office source the products and made up the test run for the initiative. She actually did something, instead of going out and getting her photo taken like someone else we could all name.

    Kate really lost me this past week when I read she declined an engagement at the Art Room citing her health, when she did engagements the week prior, and flew to Scotland two days before the engagement. Decline, sure. I bet she declines all the time. But to use that as her excuse and then be out and about elsewhere and then off with her husband to Scotland? Looks very very bad.

    So good for Camilla. At least one of them is good for something.

    1. Yes, I liked that Camilla’s office was the one to make up the kits. Rather than just having a photo op with an organization that did them. It shows how dedicated she is.

      Where did you read Kate declined an Art Room appearance? Yeah, I doubt her charities get much bang for their buck in terms of her showing up to things. Hopefully they get lots of wealthy donors out of using her name to promote the charity to them.

      There was an M-PACT opening in London on Oct 29 that Kate could have attended, and didn’t. It doesn’t seem like Kate is in any way involved with these charities past having a photo op with them once or twice a year.

    2. Wow, I just read the article. I can’t believe she blamed morning sickness and then had no problem flying up to Scotland. A bit hypocritical??? Why do people still think she really has HG?

  6. I actually like Camilla and don’t really care for the vilification she gets. I liked Diana, but we need to remember she was far from a saint. Camilla and Charles are much better suited and actually do look comfortable together. Of anyone in the BRF that I would like to have an honest to goodness conversation with, it would be Camilla. I bet she has stories to tell! Of course she was never one to take her dirty laundry into public, like both Diana and Charles did at the time.

    I applaud her for taking up this cause which touches and scars so many worldwide. Keep up the good work Duchess Camilla!

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