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!
Angelina will attend the event ‘Fighting Stigma through Film’ which will take place 23-24 November 2018 at the British Film Institute in London. Photos and videos will be added as soon as they are released!
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI), Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon has announced that the PSVI film festival, ‘Fighting Stigma through Film’ will take place on the 23-24 November 2018 at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London. PSVI Co-Founder and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie will take part in the event.
The festival aims to harness the power of film to help fight the discrimination and social stigma faced by survivors of warzone rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict, and to support filmmakers from conflict-affected countries who are part of the fight against impunity and stigma in their own societies and worldwide.
Over two days there will be screenings of more than 35 films and documentaries from 14 countries, including Syria, Burma and Nigeria that illuminate the reality of conflict-related sexual violence. The screenings will be open to the public and will be combined with a series of discussions with filmmakers and leading experts on conflict-related sexual violence.
PSVI Co-Founder and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie will join young filmmakers from conflict-affected and Commonwealth countries including Yemen, Burma, Sri Lanka and Syria, who are taking part in a series of workshops designed to help build their capacity to tell their stories and change attitudes in their own societies. Ms Jolie will also lead a Q+A session with Congolese Nobel Peace Prize winner and preventing sexual violence activist, Dr Denis Mukwege.
Over two thirds (68%) of all the films being screened are directed or produced by women. Among the titles, the festival will host the world premiere for Leslie Thomas’ film ‘The Prosecutors’ which explores the fight to get justice for survivors of sexual violence.
The film festival is part of the build-up to the UK-hosted Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict International Conference in November 2019, which will aim to galvanise governments around the world into taking tangible new steps to address sexual violence in conflict, and to uphold international commitments to bring perpetrators to account.
On June 28, 2018, Angelina honored the 200th anniversary of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, in the Cathedral of St. Paul in London.
She wore an ivory dress by the London designer Ralph & Russo and she completed the look with a metal pouch and a small bare hat, known as a cap. The brooch worn by her in the event, actually an Insignia, is called the Great Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Angelina is Honorary Lady of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George since 2014. The title was granted by the Queen of England and recognizes the services rendered to British foreign policy and the efforts in foreign countries mainly for her work in putting an end to sexual violence in war zones.
Two events in a row wasn’t enough for Angelina, she also had time to go to lead a lecture in London on Monday. She gave a seminar to students taking the Masters Course in Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Angelina is is serving as a visiting professor in practice.
The class is part of a series of extra-curricular seminars called “Women, Peace and Security In Practice,” which are designed to give students an insight into the realities of working on gender equality in conflict-affected settings.
Besides speaking about her work as an UNHCR Special Envoy and as co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), Jolie took questions from the students on everything from the importance of accountability for human rights violations against women in conflict to the link between violence against women and gender inequality.
A source close to Jolie tells PEOPLE, ”She found it very helpful to be able to sit with the students and debate different concerns for women internationally, and different views on ways forward. She hopes not just to be able to teach them, but also to work with them in the months to come, to shape ideas together on ways to improve the global situation for women.”
Angelina sent a video message at an event honoring the victims of the Srebrenica genocide on July 11, 2017 in Guildhalls, London, UK. Read part of the speech below as well as the video and some photos has been added to the gallery.
“With them we are. We must never forget. Wherever that hatred does not dispute, violence is only a few steps,” she stressed. Anyone who has visited BiH know that Bosnians tolerant and humane people, warm and open heart, with a wonderful sense of humor. In addition, they are strong, extremely resistant people who have endured genocide and ethnic cleansing and other Defiance spirit, and everything else around them in ruins. Bosnians do not complain. They are humble people. They do not ask for special treatment or attention.
Every year, many victims await identification. Today, on the anniversary of the genocide, are still fresh graves in the cemetery in Potocari. When I think of Srebrenica imagine green hills and wide valley. My mind is turning towards Sarajevo, cafes and cobbled streets of the old town , with the cathedral, minarets and a synagogue. it’s still hard to believe that genocide could happen on European soil, a few hours away from European capitals, throughout our lives. the lesson is that violence in various forms quickly appear if the hatred, intolerance and aggression does not prevent it. And unfortunately, none of these things does not belong to the past. they are deeply rooted in human nature. they are in contradiction of all that pleased in democratic societie.”