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Duchess of Cornwall calls for action to prevent violence against women in powerful speech

Camilla spoke at a reception for the Shameless! Festival

duchess of cornwall speech
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to the women whose lives have been "brutally ended" as she called for action to prevent violence against women in one of her most powerful speeches to date.

Speaking at a reception for the Shameless! Festival at the Wellcome Collection in London on Wednesday night, Camilla said: "This country has been appalled and saddened by the loss of women to violence this year. On average, one woman is killed by a man every three days.  Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Wenjing Lin, Geetika Goyal and Bennylyn Burke are names which, with all the others, must never be forgotten."

The Duchess also recalled a victim impact statement read out in court by Sarah Everard's mother, Susan, describing it as "searing".

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WATCH: Duchess of Cornwall calls for action to prevent violence against women

She added: "I know that all of you today join me in paying tribute to all these precious lives that have been brutally ended, and in renewing our commitment to do everything we can to end violence against women."

Camilla spoke ahead of the Shameless! Festival, a collaboration between Women of The World (WOW) and Birkbeck's SHaME project, which takes place at the Battersea Arts Centre on 27 November.

It will bring together national, international and grassroots organisations and charities, as well as local artists, leading voices and wellness practitioners, to confront and change societal attitudes towards sexual violence.

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duchess of cornwall speech shameless festival© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess urged society to unite to end violence against women

In her speech, the Duchess said she hoped the festival would help create the world free from violence against women.

"Together, today, let us resolve to support survivors to be 'shameless' and not to take on misplaced feelings of stigma," she said.

"Through speaking up about our experiences, we break the wall of silence that allows perpetrators to go unpunished and increases the feeling of isolation that so many survivors describe."

She also urged for men to get involved in the movement, saying they need to be "on board" to tackle violence against women.

"Because how many more women must be harassed, raped or murdered before we truly unite to forge a violence-free world?" Camilla asked.

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duchess of cornwall carrie johnson© Photo: Getty Images

Carrie Johnson was among the guests at the reception

The Duchess has long been an advocate for preventing and addressing the issue of sexual violence and harassment.

In March 2017, she launched the Wash Bag Project in conjunction with Boots UK, a scheme that provides a wash bag of toiletries to people across the UK who have been affected by rape and sexual abuse.

And in March 2020, the Duchess attended the WOW Festival at the Southbank Centre and later that year, marked the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence  Against Women in a video message.

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