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The award-winning actress urged American citizens to be on the lookout for children who may be at risk of harm at home as communities far and wide remain on lockdown.
The 44-year-old Oscar winner is currently a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In an op-ed penned for Time, Jolie reminds the public that just because it's physically safer to stay inside amid the pandemic, it does not lessen the risk of abuse to children who may be stuck indoors with their abusers.
"In America, an estimated 1 in 15 children is exposed to intimate partner violence each year — 90 % of them as eyewitnesses to the violence. An average of 137 women across the world are killed by a partner or family member every day," Jolie writes. "We will never know in how many of these cases there is a child in the next room — or in the room itself."
Jolie points out that abusers are known to exercise control on their victims by isolating them from loved ones and friends. Although social distancing is a necessary tactic to lessen the spread of COVID-19, it will "inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children," she writes.
Jolie notes that social distancing results in children not receiving the care they may normally receive outside of the family home, such as seeking refuge from an extended family member or turning to social workers, teachers and coaches at school.
"For millions of children and youth globally, schools are a lifeline of opportunities as well as a shield, offering protection -- or at least a temporary reprieve -- from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstances, including sexual exploitation, forced marriage and child labor and domestic violence," Jolie continues.
Additionally, Jolie reminds her readers that COVID-19 social distancing measures result in fewer eyes on the kids most at risk of domestic violence.
The mother of six stressed the importance of checking in on loved ones over the phone as well as keeping educated on the signs of domestic violence and stress in children.
She pushed for readers to "know what to look out for and how seriously to take it," adding that supporting local domestic violence centers is another way to extend a hand.
"It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an effort by the whole of our country to give children the protection and care they deserve," Jolie adds.
The actress urges her readers to brush up on literature from domestic violence organizations, such as The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, which has published guides to help protect children during the global health crisis.
Additionally, she encourages the public to seek out The Child Helpline Network for advice and information on domestic abuse.