The Duchess of Cornwall has warned that despite some coronavirus restrictions being lifted the “lockdown of fear and abuse remains” for those with violent partners.
Writing in the Guardian, Camilla – a long-term domestic abuse campaigner – tells the newspaper’s readers who may be affected by the issue “please know that you are not alone”.
The duchess says in her article, which has been published online and appears in Friday’s edition: “After six months of lockdown, it is clear that Covid is not the only pernicious disease that has been attacking our society.
“While many aspects of our lives are now slowly returning to some kind of normality, we must also remember there are those for whom the lockdown of fear and abuse remains.
“It is therefore vital that we continue to do everything we can to help them in whatever way possible for as long as is necessary.”
Camilla, who is patron of the national domestic abuse charity SafeLives, highlighted a number of initiatives that have been attempting to support people during the lockdown.
The UK Says No More campaign has created safe spaces in pharmacy consultation rooms across the country and SafeLives’ Reach In project encourages a friend or concerned colleague to offer a suspected abuse victim support.
Emotional testimony from abuse victims – part of an online SafeLives survey – was featured in the article including the comment: “His emotional and verbal abuse is escalating the longer we’re isolated, and I’m concerned that mentally I won’t survive this…”
Another unnamed contributor said: “Every so often he gets on his high horse and pushes me or spits in my face and he shouts and scares us.”
The duchess commented on how it is believed abusive partners have become more violent during the lockdown: “Deeply troubling statistics have shown the sharp rise in domestic violence since March.
“It is thought that, globally, cases have escalated by 20%. In the UK, more than a third of specialist services have reported an increase in requests for their support.”
During the lockdown, Camilla has raised the issue of domestic violence, and during an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live in July she discussed her passion for campaigning on the issue.
She also recorded a discussion on domestic abuse for the Women of the World (WOW) online festival.
The duchess wrote in her article: “I have often said that domestic violence is characterised by silence: of the abused, of the abuser and of those who don’t know how to intervene.
“But the media have the ability to break this corrosive silence: bringing us the voices of victims; shattering the taboo; and raising awareness of what we can all do to stop this heinous crime. As ever, efforts that are united are the most powerful.
“In the words of SafeLives, together we can end domestic abuse, for everyone and for good.”