Camilla moved by domestic abuse victim's account of being shot by husband


The Duchess of Cornwall has been left visibly moved by the harrowing testimonies of women who have suffered terrible domestic abuse or seen friends or family members suffer.

Camilla thanked the group for telling their stories and speaking out about the issue when she met staff and supporters from the national charity SafeLives, which works to safeguard those at risk from harm from partners or family members.

After the five women had spoken about their experiences in offices in central London the Duchess told them: "All of you going around and talking about it does create awareness."

Rachel Williams, 43, from Newport described how after 18 years of marriage she tried to leave her estranged husband after years of abuse but he blasted her with a shotgun at the hairdressers where she was working.

She was one of five women who spoke at the reception held in central London and she told the guests how she defended herself during the attack but her teenage son could not come to terms with what had happened.

She said: "Jack took his life at just 16 years of age because he could not cope with what his father had done to me."

All the women used everyday objects to help tell their stories and Ms Williams held the wristwatch she wore on the day she was attacked which had stopped at 2.26pm.

She told the guests: "After he hit me on the head with the butt of the gun I fell to the floor, I tried to cover my body with the reception desk but it was kicked away by Darren.

"I had the presence of mind to pull my legs up to my chest as he took aim and fired the first shot was taken by my leg, which has left me with life altering injuries, thankfully the second shot just missed my head.

"He then put the gun down to reload, I grabbed the gun, a supernatural strength enabled me to hold onto the gun. This watch with the face now frosted is the result of a battle as we fought for control of the gun, as my wrist was dragged in every direction over the floor."