LAGOS (The Southern African Times) – Over the last five years, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has established herself as one of Britain’s most outspoken advocates for charities that address domestic violence. On Monday, she announced her intention to expand her work worldwide by becoming the patron of the Mirabel Centre, a Nigerian charity that supports survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
“I am delighted to become patron of The Mirabel Centre in Lagos,” Camilla said in a statement. “It is a truly trailblazing organization, 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.”
Mirabel, Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral organization, was founded in 2013 by Itoro Eze-Anaba, who was honored by the Nigerian government for her work defending women and children in August. Eze-Anaba told the Daily Mail that she was looking forward to working with Camilla on the issue.
“It is an honor to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as our first Patron. We have followed her work with charities working in the sexual and gender-based violence space and have seen how passionate and committed The Duchess is towards providing support for survivors,” she said. “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.”
Camilla first got involved in the cause in 2016, when a reception with survivors of abuse moved her to tears. In the years that followed, she has connected with activists and survivors during engagements around the world, and opened up about friends of hers who have suffered abuse. In 2020, she became the patron of SafeLives, a British charity that provides resources to victims of domestic violence and helped promote their newest initiative, Ask for ANI, a program that trained pharmacists across the country to assist victims during the pandemic.
Camilla last visited Nigeria in November 2018, when she accompanied Prince Charles on a tour that also included visits to Ghana and Gambia.