Angelina Jolie shares how she broaches the topic of sexual violence with her children

Angelina Jolie is leading by example. 

The 43-year-old actress and UNCHR Special Envoy has been bringing awareness to fight the social stigma faced by survivors of sexual violence, and in a new interview with Marie Claire, she shares how that starts at home with her own children. Jolie has six kids with estranged husband Brad Pitt -- 16-year-old Maddox, 14-year-old Pax, 13-year-old Zahara, 12-year-old Shiloh and 10-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

Jolie notes that the the conversation about sexual violence has to include men and boys, as opposed to just women and girls.

"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. 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."

In 2012, Jolie and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the global initiative Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

"Sexual violence in conflict is still a taboo subject," Jolie notes. "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."

"Our partners in this effort are victims speaking out, local NGOs and governments from around the world as well as militaries," she adds of her initiative. "We have to solve this comprehensively. We need to go to the heart of where there are abuses and make changes, and press for new practices and accountability. .... So we have to change laws as well as attitudes. And we have to find ways to have successful prosecutions, so that it is no longer a crime for which there is impunity."

23 PHOTOS
Angelina Jolie and her kids in recent years
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Angelina Jolie and her kids in recent years
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: Angelina Jolie, Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt attend the premiere of Disney's 'Dumbo' at El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: Angelina Jolie, Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt attend the premiere of Disney's 'Dumbo' at El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt attend the premiere of Disney's 'Dumbo' at El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
(L-R) Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Knox Jolie-Pitt, US actress Angelina Jolie and Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt arrive for the world premiere of Disney's 'Dumbo' at El Capitan theatre on March 11, 2019 in Hollywood. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: Angelina Jolie, Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt attend the premiere of Disney's 'Dumbo' at El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Angelina Jolie is seen with her children attending a screening of 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind' on February 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25: Angelina Jolie with children Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt attend 'The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind' Special Screening at Crosby Street Hotel on February 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Netflix)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, Prune Nourry and Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt attend the Opening Night of MoMA's Doc Fortnight Premiere of Prune Nourry's Serendipity on February 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R)Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Rajendra Roy, and Prune Nourry attend the Opening Night of MoMA's Doc Fortnight Premiere of Prune Nourry's Serendipity on February 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art)
(L-R) Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, and Loung Ung attend the 2018 National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, and Loung Ung attend the 2018 National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white) Angelina Jolie attends the 2018 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Loung Ung attend the 2018 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, and Loung Ung attend the 2018 The National Board Of Review Annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Angelina Jolie attend the 2018 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, and Loung Ung attend the 2018 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Actress/filmmaker Angelina Jolie, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, human-rights activist Loung Ung and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt are seen arriving at the 2018 National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Angelina Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt attend the 2018 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Angelina Jolie, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt arrives at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Pax Jolie-Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend the Netflix Golden Globes after party at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Netflix)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: 75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actor/director Angelina Jolie (L) and Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt arrive to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Pax Jolie-Pitt arrive to the DGA Theater for the New York premiere of 'First They Killed My Father' on September 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Pax Jolie-Pitt arrive to the 'First They Killed My Father' afterparty at Jams on September 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
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Jolie also talked about how movies can help in the fight. 

"I do think film has the power to make us live inside another person’s experience in a way that is unique and different," she explains. "But it is also a really important way of opening up a conversation, and saying that yes, these things happen or happened in our country and we need to address them. Too often after a war, sexual violence is the subject no one wants to talk about, that gets swept under the carpet. And if no one talks about it, there is no justice and no healing and no closure."

Last month, Jolie made a rare appearance at the PSVI Film Festival - Fighting Stigma through Film reception at the British Film Institute. She mingled with Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, as well as Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, at the event, which raised awareness about sexual violence and encouraged action toward ending the crime.

 

 

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