angelina jolie domestic violence
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 09: Angelina Jolie attends the European premiere of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” at Odeon IMAX Waterloo on October 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Angelina Jolie has addressed the rise in violence against women, speaking to BAZAAR UK as part of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. As a staunch advocate for human rights, Jolie was made Special Envoy of the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees in 2016. “People often don’t want to see abuse, even when it is right in front of them,” the actress, activist and mother of six told the publication.

Her ensuing work in the area has seen her become passionate about helping women who experience gender-based violence and domestic abuse. “I can’t stand to see the immense and enduring suffering so many women face, and how little accountability there is. Women and children suffer disproportionately as a result of war or economic crisis. They make up two thirds of all refugees and displaced people, and they are hardest hit by the effects of climate change,” she said.

angelina jolie domestic violence
Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), addresses a press conference after her visit to the Kutupalong camp for Rohingya refugees in Ukhia in southern Bangladesh on February 5, 2019 (Photo by Sony Ramany/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

With the impending holiday season proving a volatile time for many families, Jolie offered advice to women fearing for their safety from domestic partners. “Talk to someone. Try to find allies. Be connected for emergencies. For example, you can agree [to] 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 her role as UNHCR Special Envoy, Jolie addressed the 2nd International Conference on Action with Women and Peace in Seoul last month. Her powerful speech detailed the many atrocities that women are subjected to across the world when they speak up about their rights. “The truth is, a woman’s life does not rank equally with a man’s, far more universally than we are willing to admit. Conflict-related sexual violence is a manifestation of this reality,” she said in a video from the conference.