Angelina Jolie is always one to lend a helping hand or give a word of advice and she’s doing just that for women who may be suffering from abuse. In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K., the award-winning actress spoke about the United Nations‘ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, as she is the Special Envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The campaign is “is used as an organizing strategy by individuals, institutions, and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls,” according to UN Women.
Unfortunately with the holidays around the corner, the number of abuse victims may increase, especially as the COVID-19 restrictions continue. The UN cited data showing that “since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and particularly domestic violence, has intensified.”
During the interview, the magazine asked Jolie what her advice is for those who fear abuse during the holiday season.
“Talk to someone. Try to find allies,” she said in the interview. ”Be connected for emergencies. For example, you can agree [sic] 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 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.”
In addition to providing advice for those who may be abused, she also advised those who might know someone in an abusive relationship.
“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,“ the 45-year-old actress said. ”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.”
“Listen to them. Don‘t judge them,” she continued. ”Try to understand the huge emotional, financial, and legal pressures they are likely facing, including the pressure to stay silent about what has happened to them. And be aware that they may well be suffering trauma and PTSD.”