Target: Actress Angelina Jolie
Goal: Praise actress for fighting against sexual violence and its stigma
Sexual violence affects the entire world, but its occurrence spikes during times of war and conflict. Survivors of sexual violence are often victimized and shamed, and often times the rapist is freed from punishment. Survivors carry these emotional and physical scars for the rest of their lives and actress Angelina Jolie is not only fighting for an end to this violence, she is fighting against the stigma imposed on survivors.
During a four-day international summit in London, the actress opened with a message to sexual violence survivors. “We must send a message around the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence, that the shame is on the aggressor,” Jolie said to cheers from the audience. “We need to shatter that culture of impunity.” Jolie is co-hosting the event with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. It is believed to be the largest gathering on the subject, and it used to be a topic that was considered taboo. Diplomats from 100 different countries came to attend the event to fight against the violence and show support for survivors.
Jolie and Hague will present a guidance document to help strengthen prosecutions of rapists and molesters, with a specific target toward soldiers and peacekeepers. The mood of the event has been deemed as moving and empowering by participants. The event features music about rape and problems facing Africa’s youth, workshops for rape victims, and rape survivors selling their crafts to bystanders. Both have been campaigning for this issue for the past two years, with Jolie having traveled to Afghanistan and Somalia as a U.N. envoy.
As a humanitarian, Jolie has always supported human rights. As the world is gearing up to tackle up the issue of rape and victim blaming, those who support survivors should be applauded and praised. Thank the A-list actress for using her celebrity status to fight against sexual violence and the stigma imposed on the survivors.
Dear Ms. Jolie,
You recently attended a summit in London that focused on sexual violence and the stigma imposed on survivors. This issue is one that affects everyone, even those that live in countries that are not in the midst of a conflict. Whether it is Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, or the United States, this issue has attracted global attention.
I am writing this letter to thank you for your continued support for human rights. Sexual violence used to be a taboo topic, and I am grateful that it is finally being breached and discussed. Removing the stigma will take a lot of work, but in time people will no longer shame the victims of sexual violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eco Richardo Patino via Wikimedia Commons