Advice

Here's How Angelina Jolie Talks to Her Kids About Sexual Violence — And the "Important Distinction" She Makes

The UNHCR Special Envoy doesn't leave her six kids in the dark when it comes to discussing issues of social welfare.

As a humanitarian and Special Envoy for the United Nations Human Rights Council, Angelina Jolie is passionate about social welfare. One cause that she's consistently championed is fighting the stigma that surrounds victims of sexual violence. And even in her own household, she makes sure that the daunting subject isn't swept under the rug. 

While speaking with Marie Claire, the mother of six shared that she speaks to her children about the topic — and not just the females. "I don’t just speak to my daughters. I speak to them with their brothers," she said. "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. Not only are men and boys also victims of these crimes, but those who are perpetrating these crimes need to have other men remind them what it really is to be a man. A man with a healthy relationship to women. And all societies need to be clear about not tolerating this behavior."

On the issue itself, the actress — who helped launch the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012 — said: "Sexual violence in conflict is still a taboo subject. 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 and stigmatized, while their attackers go unpunished. That’s what has to change, and breaking the taboo is part of that."

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