Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, spoke about the women killed in violent attacks, including Sarah Everard, during the Shameless! Festival at the Wellcome Collection in London
The Duchess of Cornwall has paid tribute to tragic murder victims Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, as she called for men to join the movement to end sexual violence against women.
In a rallying cry for both sexes to join together in the community to combat a violent spate of horrific crimes against women, Camilla said: “rapists are not born, they are constructed”.
The Duchess added: “We need to get the men in our lives involved in this movement.
“We do not, in any way, hold all men responsible for sexual violence. But we do need them all on board to tackle it. After all, rapists are not born, they are constructed.
“And it takes an entire community – male and female – to dismantle the lies, words and actions that foster a culture in which sexual assault is seen as normal, and in which it shames the victim.
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“So let us all leave here today and try and get the men in our lives to participate in building a “shameless” society.”
According to national crime statistics in the UK, on average one woman is killed by a man every three days.
Speaking of several of the tragic and horrific murders of young women this year, Camilla said: “This country has been appalled and saddened by the loss of women to violence this year. “Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Wenjing Lin, Geetika Goyal and Bennylyn Burke are names which, with all the others, must never be forgotten.
“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.”
Speaking movingly, Camilla read an extract from marketing executive Sarah Everard’s mother’s victim impact statement that she read to the court at her killer’s trial.
Sarah was abducted from Clapham Common, south London as she was walking home by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.
The brute was was handed a whole-life tariff in September after kidnapping, raping and murdering the 33-year-old.
On the same day that Couzens was arrested, a survey was published stating that 86 per cent of young women in the UK have been sexually harassed in a public space, with women, 96 per cent not reporting the incidents.
It emerged today he has lodged an appeal to reduce the length of his jail sentence, while details emerged of Another serving officer with the Metropolitan Police officer was yesterday charged with with rape.
PC Adam Zaman, 28, who is based on the East Area Command Unit, was remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Detailing more shocking statistics, Camilla told how 144,000 women were victims of rape or attempted rape in the last year – roughly 16 of the most serious sexual offences every hour.
Camilla said: “It is, as almost all women know, a deeply disturbing experience to be sexually harassed.
“Yet somehow, a culture of silence has grown up, in which women conceal their experiences of such offences.
“Why? There are, of course, many explanations.
“But there is one significant reason on which we are focussing today – Shame.
“Shame is one of the most powerful emotions felt after a sexual violation.
“The victim feels invaded and dirty; weakened by having been put in a position of helplessness by someone stronger – possibly by someone whom she previously trusted. “Often, this sense of shame causes the victim to blame herself, mistakenly take responsibility for the crime, and want to hide away from others.
“And yet she has done nothing wrong.”
The ‘Shameless! Festival’ will be an in-person event at Battersea Arts Centre in London on November 27, bringing together national, international and grassroots organisations and leading voices to confront and change societal attitudes towards sexual violence.