Queen Camilla offers comfort as she tells women’s refuge resident ‘you’re very brave’ | Royal | News

December 6, 2023
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provided a shoulder to cry on as a woman became emotional during her trip to a women’s refuge run by the Ashiana Network in London. The reached out to squeeze the former refuge resident’s arm and commended her bravery as she told her story of travelling to the UK and leaving her daughter behind.

Camilla visited the crisis accommodation run by the Ashiana Network, which supports Middle Eastern, Turkish and South Asian women fleeing from traumas such as domestic and sexual violence, forced marriage, coercive control, honour-based violence and financial abuse.

She spoke to four current and former residents of the shelter and heard all about their personal experiences, with the women not being identified for their own safety. One woman broke down in tears as she explained how difficult it had been being apart from her daughter for many years, as Camilla listened and reassured her.

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Another woman explained how she had come to the UK aged just 18, speaking no English and having only the clothes on her back to wear, however she is now studying to be a social worker.

The Queen told the assembled women: “I think you’re very brave. I think you’re all very brave. It’s amazing how all your lives have been turned around just by being in this one special place.

“The problem is there’s probably not enough of them. There must be so many young people like you arriving in this country, you know, and you are probably some of the lucky ones who found this place because, you know, there are probably many others out there who are still searching for help.”

Camilla also said it was “so lovely” to hear how the women have grown in confidence since their time living at the Ashiana refuge, saying she believes they will all “go a long way”.

She continued: “It makes us all happy to hear that all four of you, when you’ve been through such a terrible time, but things are getting better, and they’ll go on getting better.”

As she spoke to a representative from a funding organisation, Camilla exclaimed: “I have never actually visited anything quite as brilliant as this. It is remarkable.”

Ashiana Network director Shaminder Ubhi thanked the Queen for her visit and for helping to raise awareness of the organisation around the world.

Camilla was also gifted a hand-made mosaic, a bouquet of flowers and an Ashiana Network-branded tote bag, which Ms Ubhi jokingly commented would come in handy on a trip to the supermarket.

The Ashiana Network was first founded in 1989, providing a safe place for South Asian women to go to after escaping from domestic abuse, initially beginning with just seven beds.



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