In the second post of the day (go here for Prince Nicolas’ Christening photos), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has penned a letter for the Daily Mail in which she discusses her visits with rape survivors, her washbag initiative, and calls for a future where rape and sexual abuse are not tolerated.
I’m going to go ahead and quote all of Camilla’s piece because I think it’s worth the read. Rebecca English wrote a nice opening portion to the article which you can read here. Camilla wrote:
“Over the past five years, I have visited many centres for victims of rape, here and overseas, which offer survivors a safe haven and a different future. I have spoken to many of them, whose bravery in speaking out and sharing their stories was truly humbling. This is, both for the speaker and the listener, a harrowing experience.
“Rape and sexual abuse: these are words that make most of us feel uncomfortable. Until recently, they were issues which were not really discussed but now, I hope, there is a change in the air.
“This challenging subject has been brought to the fore in recent years with some shocking news stories; these last for a few weeks, but for those who have been the victims of rape and sexual abuse, the traumatic effects can be long-lasting, not to say life-long. They leave their indelible mark.
“I have seen for myself some of the remarkable work being done by the representatives of rape crisis organisations, the NHS and the police across the country. During these visits I have been very impressed by the professionalism and commitment of the individuals who provide a life-line to the women, children and men who have been left traumatized and often made to feel worthless through no fault of their own.
“There are no easy answers and no quick fixes, but that should not stop us thinking of small ways to help. One project (piloted at the three Havens centres in London) which I think has helped provides survivors with a wash-bag filled with some special products. It can’t change what happened, but it is a gesture which I hope shows a little thoughtful care to sufferers of abuse at a very fragile time. It is not for me to discuss the underlying problems which may cause sexual violence and abuse, but I have glimpsed some of the appalling aftermath.
“The statistics remain truly horrifying. There are, however, more centres now where comfort and help to recover can be found.
“I will continue my work in the hope that it will help to shine a light on the violence hiding in the dark corners of our society. I have said it before and will say it again: we must try to build a future where we will simply not tolerate rape and sexual abuse any longer.”
This is not the first time Camilla has spoken out about ending sexual violence. She spoke to the Daily Mail last November while in Colombia about the issue of ending sexual violence against women. I truly commend Camilla for not only tackling this issue but actually being vocal about it. This is not a fluffy issue, this is not a “safe” issue. This is a gritty issue that not everyone wants to talk about. But it is such an important issue. This was a really excellent letter – it was personable, it spoke on the issue but kept it hopeful, and ended with a call to action. I’m so glad Camilla has spoken out like.
In other Camilla news, Cam was out and about last night (October 13) at the Man Booker Prize winners reception at the Guildhall where she presented the 2015 Fiction winner with his award.
The winner was Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Jamaican winner. His novel was inspired by an attempt to kill Bob Marley in 1976, telling the story of a gang of cocaine-fueled ghetto kids armed with automatic weapons who tried but failed to kill Marley in the Jamaican capital Kingston before he gave a peace concert.
I’m going to mention fashion for a moment because I love this dress and apparently Camilla does, too. She wore this red dress with black lace overlay and three quarter sleeves four different times last year. Cam even wore this same red pashmina on two of those four outings last year. Cam spiced things up for this outing with some gorgeous diamond earrings and a bracelet.
Along with Camilla’s commitment to ending sexual violence, and her commitment to literacy, another thing I love about Camilla is that she always gives the photographers a good shot. She always poses with a smile and let’s the photographers get their shot unlike pretty much every other British royal (except maybe Sophie).
Camilla has been away for a while. She had her summer holiday and then a bout with gastroenteritis, but the Man Booker Prize appearance and the letter calling for an end to sexual violence is a great way to come back.