Silence around domestic violence is “corrosive”
The Duchess of Cornwall has voiced concerns that too often the issue goes unmentioned and made the case for greater dialogue in the UK.
She was addressing an awareness event which took place at Clarence House, attended by a number of celebrity campaigners, including Julie Walters and Sir Patrick Stewart.
“Domestic abuse remains a hidden problem in our society,” she said.
“It is characterised by silence - silence from those who suffer, silence from those around them and silence from those who perpetrate abuse.
“This silence is corrosive – it leaves women, children - and men - carrying the burden of shame, it prevents them from speaking out about their abuse and it prevents them from getting help. And at its worst, it can be fatal.”
In a moving speech, the Duchess said she had been privileged to meet a group of domestic violence survivors earlier this year and paid tribute to their courage.
“Their silence was broken - but only after a tragedy. I hope very much that today might mark a moment when we start to pull back that shroud of silence,” she said.
“I hope we can talk about what is happening behind closed doors across the country and I hope that these brave people have the courage to speak out and to be, in the words of one of our guests, 'victors not victims'.”
A number of campaigners have called for the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, to look at reforms to domestic violence laws.
During her time at the Home Office, Mrs May had announced a new offence of “coercive and controlling behaviour.” However, the charity Refuge had warned at the time that introducing new legislation was less important than ensuring existing laws are properly implemented.
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