Duchess of Cornwall becomes patron of Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral center
Camilla, 74, is set to be announced as royal patron of The Mirabel Centre, a trailblazing organisation in West Africa which has provided free medical support, counselling and practical services to more than six thousand women and girls, as well as men and young boys.
Distressingly, the youngest victim it has helped was aged just three months, while the oldest was aged 80.
The Duchess, who has made the issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault one of the cornerstones of her public work, said she was ‘delighted’ to do anything she could to help the centre in Lagos.
‘It is a truly trailblazing organisation, supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault as they seek healing and justice. 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,’ she said.
Founded eight years ago by Itoro Eze-Anaba, the Mirabel helps those who have either recently become the victim of rape or sexual assault or have experienced it historically.
She told the Mail that the centre provided not just immediate medical assistance and examinations, which can be used as evidence in any subsequent court case, but counselling, practical and financial support for the victims and their families.
‘It is about providing help and support for the whole family throughout the healing process, as well as helping the victim and, in some cases, the police,’ she explained.
‘There can be a lot of stigma around this issue and there has been a culture of silence. We hope to help give women a voice.’
Ms Eze-Anaba added: ‘The current COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the endemic nature of sexual violence. We have seen a huge number of children and women coming forward to report cases of sexual assault and rape.
‘We are confident that the support of The Duchess will make a difference. We hope that together we can enable more survivors to seek and achieve justice.
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