Sexual violence is 'not just a problem for women'

  06 December 2018    Read: 1167
Sexual violence is

Angelina Jolie has spoken about the importance of having open conversations about sexual violence, explaining why it’s essential that the topic is discussed among women and men.

In 2012, the actor and activist created the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative(PSVI) with former UK foreign secretary William Hague in an effort to support survivors of sexual violence and ensure that justice is exercised against the perpetrators.

In a recent interview with Marie Claire, Jolie highlighted the stigma that still surrounds those who have been affected by sexual violence and the progress that needs to be made in the near future to combat the issue.

“Sexual violence in conflict is still a taboo subject,” she says.

“Female and male survivors, and children born of this rape, are often treated as if they are the ones who have done something wrong.

“They are rejected, stigmatised, while their attackers go unpunished.

“That’s what has to change, and breaking the taboo is part of that.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Nobel peace prize had been awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege, two campaigners against sexual violence in war.

The decision was commended on a global scale for stressing the prevalence of sexual violence that many people experience in wartime.

During her interview, Jolie also speaks about why conversations about sexual violence shouldn’t solely be reserved for girls and women, as it’s an issue that everyone should be aware of regardless of gender.

“I don’t just speak to my daughters. I speak to them with their brothers,” she says.

“That is maybe the first most important distinction. 

“This is not just a problem for women, and the solution is working with women and men. And girls and boys.”

She explains how men who are committing acts of sexual violence need to be reminded by other men of “what it really is to be a man” and what a “healthy relationship” with a woman entails.

In November, the PSVI held a film festival in London where films addressing the subject of sexual violence were shown.

During the two-day event, which took place at the British Film Institute, screenings were held for 38 films and documentaries that shared the inspiring stories of survivors.


The Independent

More about: violence