Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has some special advice for women fearing abuse behind closed doors during the holiday season.
According to Fox News, the 45-year-old actor and activist gave a speech last month at the 2nd International Conference on Action with Women and Peace in Seoul, where she pushed for funding of sexual violence programs, as well as the protection of human rights defenders, Harper’s Bazaar reported on Monday.
On Monday, Angelina Jolie acknowledged the fact that Christmas can be a difficult time for many women enduring abuse behind closed doors.
She urged, “Talk to someone. Try to find allies. Be connected for emergencies. For example, you can agree on 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 your 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,” the mother of six cautioned.
The Oscar winner also encouraged loved ones to become allies for those they suspect might be experiencing any kind of abuse, no matter their age.
“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,” said Angelina Jolie. “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 explained, “I value women. I can’t stand to see the immense and enduring suffering so many women face, and how little accountability there is. I see the same patterns repeated globally. Women are vulnerable because societies are unequal. Women and children suffer disproportionally as a result of war or economic crisis. They make up two-thirds of all refugees and displaced people, and they are hardest hit by the effects of climate change.”
As per Fox News, Angelina Jolie is supporting the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, an initiative against gender-based violence. She said her work as an activist has motivated her more than ever to raise awareness.