Camilla pays tribute to Sarah Everard in moving speech at Shameless! Festival

·2-min read
Camilla pays tribute to Sarah Everard in moving speech at Shameless! Festival

The Duchess of Cornwall has paid tribute to Sarah Everard and other women in the UK who had their lives “brutally ended” as she called for an

Camilla, speaking at the Shameless! Festival reception in front of Carrie Johnson, urged for the names of victims of violence against women to “never be forgotten”.

She recalled a victim impact statement read out in court by Sarah Everard’s mother, Susan, describing it as “searing”.

The duchess said: “Each one of these women endured unimaginable torment – and their loved ones who are left behind continue to suffer in the wake of their deaths.

“On September 30, Sarah Everard’s mother stood before her daughter’s killer to give her searing victim impact statement.”

After quoting from the statement, the duchess added: “I know that all of you here 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 bring about the end of violence against women.”

Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne Couzens, who made a false arrest (Family Handout/CPS/PA) (PA Media)
Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne Couzens, who made a false arrest (Family Handout/CPS/PA) (PA Media)

On the same day Sarah Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, was arrested, a survey was published stating that 86% of young women in the UK have been sexually harassed in a public space, Camilla said.

She added that a crime survey for England and Wales showed that 144,000 women were victims of rape or attempted rape in the last year, which equates to roughly 16 every hour.

Camilla said she hoped the upcoming Shameless! Festival – a collaboration between the WOW (Women of the World) Foundation, of which she is president, and Birkbeck, University of London’s SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters) project – 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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