Angelina Jolie is an advocate for survivors of sexual violence, especially in war-torn areas — but the Oscar winner recognizes that a lot of progress has to begin at home.
Jolie, 43, founded the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict global initiative with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2012.
The organization seeks to not just prevent sexual violence but to also erase the stigma that survivors face after rape and assault.
"Sexual violence in conflict is still a taboo subject," Jolie told Marie Claire. "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."
The actress, who shares six children — three daughters and three sons — with ex-husband Brad Pitt, encourages open communication with her kids to educate them on sexual violence and how to prevent it.
"I don't just speak to my daughters," she advised. "I speak to them with their brothers. 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."
She explained, "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."