Camilla was visiting the South Ayrshire Women’s Aid centre, which offers information, advice, advocacy and safe refuge accommodation for women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.
The refuge accommodation, first taken over in 1997, has recently been reconfigured from a communal facility to eight self-contained flats to allow the women – many with children – privacy and dignity.
Camilla said she wanted to congratulate the team on the “brilliant” work they had done.
“I know how important these refuges are. I have seen quite a lot all over the country. But to see these separate accommodation, these flats….it’s the first time I have seen those. And talking to some of the ladies here I know what a difference it makes to them to have a bit of privacy,” she said.
“Again I would like to reiterate what an incredible job you all do for violence against women. It is so important to have all of you on side. Others might take a lead from your book and do the same in other parts of the country.”
The Duchess spoke to a woman, who cannot be named for her safety, with two young children who had fled domestic abuse.
The young woman spoke of how much she appreciated the facilities.
“‘How long can you stay here?” Camilla asked. “A long as they can have me,” the woman said in response.
“They have eight flats here but there are probably a lot more need,” Camilla replied.
“I can understand the importance to you of having somewhere safe to go, but also somewhere that offers you privacy as well as support and advice.”