Nikita Richardson
September 09, 2015 9:23 am

For more than a decade now, Angelina Jolie has distinguished herself as a leader, not only behind the camera as a three-time director, but also as an outspoken activist and humanitarian with many causes, including sexual violence, held close to her heart.

Yesterday, Jolie appeared before the United Kingdom’s House of Parliament to discuss her first-hand experience with victims of sexual violence in territories controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and how the terrorist group has made sexual slavery and rape a part of its doctrine.

“The most aggressive terrorist group in the world today knows what we know, knows that [rape] is a very effective weapon,” Jolie said. “And they are using it as a centerpoint of their terror and their way of destroying communities and families, and attacking and dehumanizing.”

The actress went on to relate her meetings with two victims of ISIS’ disgusting policy, including a traumatized, 7- or 8-year-old girl with “tears streaming down her face because she had been brutally raped multiple times,” and an older girl of 13 who’d watched her friends as they were auctioned off like for “$40, $50” to ISIS fighters.

Jolie’s testimony is in line with a recent New York Times report, which tells in sickening detail the inner workings of a finely-tuned system that sees women and young girls kidnapped, confined to large spaces, and then auctioned off to members of ISIS who’ve been told that raping non-Muslim women is their right, a “prayer to God.”

This is not the first time that Jolie has spoken about the importance of ending sexual violence. In 2014, she co-hosted the “End Sexual Violence in Conflict” summit in London, and she has given addresses on the topic to UN audiences as well.

“I think the most important thing to understand is what it’s not. It’s not sexual, it is a violent brutal terrorising weapon,” Jolie said at yesterday’s hearing. She concluded, “We really have to have a very, very strong response at this time to this particular group on this issue.”

Agreed. Watch her entire moving speech below:

Related reading:

Angelina Jolie just said something that everybody needs to hear about violence against women

Angelina Jolie is doing yet another wonderful thing for the women of the world

[Images via Shutterstock and Twitter]

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