Actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie is openly speaking in support of survivors of violence. And in her recent interview, she has a lot of advice for women who suffer domestic abuse and violence.
Angelina Jolie gives advice to victims of domestic abuse
In a recent interview with Harpers Bazaar UK, the actress talked about the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The UN appointed Jolie as a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012. In the interview, Jolie gave advice to women who suffer from domestic abuse. She said:
Talk to someone. Try to find allies. Be connected for emergencies. For example, you can agree [sic] a code word with a friend or family member, which tells them if you are facing an emergency. Begin to build a network and gain knowledge. It’s sad to say, but you can’t assume all friends and family will always want to believe and support you. Often it will be strangers who help. Or other victims, support groups, or faith groups. Above all, be careful. Only you really know the danger you are in, and until you find your support outside, you may feel quite alone.
Moreover, Angelina Jolie also had advice for people whose loved ones are experiencing abuse. The Oscar-winner said:
If it has even crossed your mind that someone you know might be vulnerable in this way, try to stay close and present in their lives. Make it clear that you are there for them. Another thing we can all do is educate ourselves. Learn about domestic violence. Learn how trauma affects our health and can lead to biological changes, particularly in children. Take these issues seriously.
She also gives advice to people whose loved ones are suffering
Finally, Jolie said that everyone should take helping a colleague or a friend who is suffering abuse “seriously”. She continued:
Listen to them. Don’t judge them. Try to understand the huge emotional, financial and legal pressures they are likely facing, including the pressure to stay silent about what has happened to them. And be aware that they may well be suffering trauma and PTSD.
According to UN Women, the campaign, which Angelina Jolie is a part of:
…is used as an organizing strategy by individuals, institutions and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
What is her UN campaign trying to achieve?
The campaign’s aim is to raise self-awareness and to galvanize advocacy efforts, along with sharing knowledge and innovation. It is a part of the UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence Against Women initiative. According to a recent UN Women report, 243 million women and girls around the world have suffered sexual or physical violence, that too from an intimate partner in just the past 12 months. And to make matters worse, violence against women and girls has intensified since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Jolie has historically worked to help women suffering from all forms of violence
Angelina Jolie has previously talked about domestic violence, especially against women and girls, too. The mother of six is a big advocate against gender-based violence all around the world. She wrote a piece back in October for TIME, saying how domestic abuse was a big issue even before COVID-19:
Even before the pandemic, which has led to a shocking rise in domestic violence, more than three women a day on average were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in America. Globally, an estimated one in every three women faced being beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime, with in most cases, the abuser being a member of her own family. There were over three times as many female victims of intentional homicide in 2017 worldwide than victims of terrorism—and over half of them were murdered by a family member.
Her speech in Seoul
Angelina Jolie also spoke at the second International Conference on Action with Women and Peace in Seoul. Back in November, she said in her speech:
The truth is a woman’s life does not rank equally with a man’s far more universally than we are willing to acknowledge. Conflict-related sexual violence is a manifestation of this reality. It seems we believe in rights for women and girls only to a point. In our daily lives, to the point that it might force us to see something we don’t wish to see and have to act upon it, In politics, to the point that it doesn’t compete with vested interests, In our foreign policy, to the point that it doesn’t conflict with business and trade. At the security council, to the point that a P5 member chooses to cast a veto to shield an ally no matter how bloody their hands. And in settling conflicts, the rights of women and girls matter to the point that we can declare success and move on.
Finally, Jolie concluded her speech by saying:
It is this caring to a point that means that gender equality is still at least a century away, that domestic violence has grown sharply worse during the pandemic and that the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution—over half of them women and children—has doubled in a decade.