Angelina has written an article for the UK magazine, The Evening Standard. She writes about wartime sexual violence and brings up stories so horrific it’s worse than any made up horror film… She’s currently at the PSVI Film Festival hosted by her organisation “Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative” and the article is released in connection to it.
Angelina Jolie: No perpetrators of rape in conflict should ever get away with their crimes
A Rohingya mother gang-raped after being forced to watch soldiers kill her baby girl and husband. An elderly South Sudanese woman raped by soldiers. A Syrian man kept naked in a cell for 30 days by government forces, hung up by his hands in the dark at night and raped using a stick. A 10-year old Syrian boy, waiting in line at a bakery, kidnapped by Islamic State, imprisoned and sexually abused.
What connects these terrible human stories, documented by the UN, is that they involve the deliberate use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war: “To terrorise communities and fracture families by the violation of taboos,” in the words of the UN Secretary-General, “signifying that nothing is sacred and no one is safe.” It affects hundreds and thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys, worldwide.
The horror of these war crimes, crimes against humanity, even acts of genocide are compounded by the stigma endured by survivors who are often made to feel ashamed, rejected by their families and who suffer physical injuries and emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.
Because of stigma, conflict-related sexual violence is one of the least reported crimes in the world. It is intolerable that we effectively punish survivors more than perpetrators, simply by our collective failure to provide justice or change cultures that blame the survivor or minimise their suffering.
Read full article in press archive!