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Camilla says domestic abuse is ‘terrible hidden secret’ for many women

The Duchess of Cornwall during day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse (PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall during day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse (PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken about the “taboo” surrounding domestic abuse and how it becomes “a terrible hidden secret” for many women.

Camilla has highlighted the work of domestic violence charities for more than seven years, and she told British Vogue she will continue to do so in future as Queen Consort.

The duchess spoke with the magazine ahead of her 75th birthday on July 17.

Duchess of Cornwall visits Bath
The Duchess of Cornwall, meeting domestic abuse survivors during a visit to Bath-based charity Voices earlier this year (Finnbar Webster/PA)

Speaking about domestic abuse, she said: “I think we all know somebody who it’s happened to.

“I was hearing it too often, from friends who knew friends, and I thought maybe I ought to look into it to see if there was somewhere for me to help.

“There’s been such a taboo. People can still love the people that abuse them, and feel such guilt and such shame that they think it’s their fault, so they bury it.

“It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret.”

The duchess also shared a moving moment from a visit to the London office of the SafeLives charity in 2016, where she met the mother of Joanna Brown, who was brutally killed by her husband in 2010.

Royal visit to SafeLives charity
The Duchess of Cornwall talking to Diana Parkes during a visit to the national charity SafeLives in 2016 (PA)

Camilla said: “Her mother (Diana Parkes) was sitting opposite me.

“I remember looking at her because, you know, you empathise with someone of the same generation.

“She took on the children and brought them up on the Isle of Man by herself.

“I saw her with tears pouring down her face. I’m afraid we all dissolved.”

Royal visit to SafeLives charity
Camilla revealed she was moved by the death of Diana Parkes’ daughter (PA)

Camilla said she would continue supporting domestic abuse charities following her ascension to Queen Consort because “you can’t desert things that you’re in the middle of”.

The duchess added that as a feminist she loves to see women gaining confidence before they “fly the flag” for their gender.

She said: “I meet so many women who I find totally inspirational… Those are the stories I love hearing – people who started with no confidence and they go on to make a mark in the world and fly the flag for women.”

The July issue of British Vogue, which includes the full interview, is available from June 21.

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