Domestic abuse 'affects everybody', Duchess of Cornwall says

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Image copyright Eamonn McCormack/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cornwall has said domestic abuse "affects everybody" and urged people to "get up and talk about their experiences".

"No one knows what goes on behind any front door. It doesn't matter who you are," she told the Daily Mail.

The interview comes after she hosted an event for the charity SafeLives at Clarence House in London on Wednesday.

The duchess told guests the "taboo" around domestic abuse "weakens" every time somebody shares their story.

She said she had had nightmares after hearing women's accounts of abuse at a SafeLives event in 2016.

"I had the privilege of hearing incredibly brave women... standing up to tell their stories. Harrowing stories that reduced many of us listeners to tears," Camilla said in a speech to guests at Clarence House.

"That memorable day fired my interest in domestic abuse. I did know of people who had suffered from it, but I was both shocked and horrified by just how many thousands of people across the world live with it."

Since then the duchess, 72, said she has been championing the issue by hosting events to bring together various organisations.

Last year she wrote a letter of support for a survivor-led conference on domestic violence in Wales.

Image copyright Eamonn McCormack/PA Wire
Image caption The duchess held a reception in Clarence House to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the charity, SafeLives

In the Daily Mail interview, Camilla described the 2016 event as one of her "most harrowing experiences".

"I thought to myself, this is going on, what are we doing about it?," she said. "You know people, I know people that it has happened to. But I don't think we ever believed it was that bad."

"Whoever you are, wherever you are from, there are organisations that can help you," she added.

"Talk to them, just get up and talk about your experiences. They will help."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The duchess began speaking out against domestic abuse after hearing survivors' stories at a SafeLives event in 2016 (pictured)

SafeLives provides various services for people affected by domestic abuse as well as working with other organisation to tackle the issue.

Office of National Statistics figures for 2018 suggest 4.2% of men and 7.9% of women suffered domestic abuse, which equates to about 685,000 men and 1.3 million women.

Murders related to domestic violence are at a five-year high, with an average of two women murdered every week.

If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic abuse or violence, these organisations may be able to help.

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