How Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Is Helping Survivors Find 'Healing and Justice' with Her Latest Patronage

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The Duchess Of Cornwall Hosts A Reception For The London Taxi Drivers' Charity For Children
The Duchess Of Cornwall Hosts A Reception For The London Taxi Drivers' Charity For Children

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is expanding her campaign to help women who've survived domestic and sexual violence by becoming Patron of The Mirabel Centre in Lagos, Nigeria — the first sexual assault center in the country.

Founded in 2013, the Centre is a safe refuge for women who've experienced rape and sexual assault and has provided free medical and psychosocial support services to more than 6,450 survivors.

"It is a truly trailblazing organisation, supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault as they seek healing and justice," Camilla, 74, said in a statement. "Their vital work means that women need no longer suffer in silence and I am deeply grateful to all Mirabel's wonderful staff and volunteers."

Her office at Clarence House said the Duchess will be working with a selection of Nigerian and British Nigerian women to find ways to help the center in the near future.

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The move is the latest stage of an ongoing key interest of Camilla. In 2009, she set out on the journey to help raise awareness of women caught in violent relationships or who have been abused.

As she made her first tentative steps into the sphere, she met Yvonne Traynor of Rape Crisis in South London. Traynor told PEOPLE in 2017 of the impact Camilla is having: "If you've got somebody in the Royal Family who is talking about it and actually doing something about it, it makes it ok to talk about and that's what we want for our clients. You have to break the silence. There's no shame in what's happened to you — the shame should be on the perpetrators not on you — and we want more people to come forward and get the help that they deserve."

"If someone of that standing is talking about it, it must make it okay for people to come out and talk about it."

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Since then, Camilla has visited shelters and support centers around the world and in 2020 became Patron of the U.K. domestic abuse charity SafeLives. She has hosted receptions for charities in that area and attended round table discussions on domestic abuse in Australia in 2015, New Zealand in 2019, and as part of the Women's Forum at CHOGM in London in 2018, her office adds.

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And during the U.K.'s lockdown in spring 2020, she addressed one of the key challenges taking place amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Camilla, used the couple's Instagram page she shares with husband Prince Charles to call out the threatening situation that domestic abuse victims may find themselves in during this time of quarantine and self-isolation.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.