B1 Intermediate US 19044 Folder Collection
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It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. There is nothing inevitable about it.
It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It has nothing to do with sex, everything
to do with power. It is done to torture and humiliate innocent people and often very young
children. I have met survivors from Afghanistan to Somalia and they are just like us, with
one crucial difference. We live in safe countries with Doctors we can go to when we're hurt,
police we can turn to when we're wronged and institutions to protect us. They live in refugee
camps or bombed out streets in areas where there is no law, no protection and not even
the hope of justice. They struggle to keep their children safe and if they admit to being
raped, they are likely to face more violence and social rejection. Other survivors live
in countries where war is over, but the peace has brought no justice. And, as an International
community, we are responsible for that. We need to shatter that culture of impunity
and make justice the norm, not the exception, for these crimes. We need political will replicated
across the world and we need to treat this subject as a priority. We need to see real
commitment to go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people
and to step in and help the worst affected countries. We need all armies, peacekeeping
troops and police forces to have the prevention of sexual violence in conflict as part of
their training. More than 100 countries will be represented in this summit and we are asking
them to take these measures. But we really do need your help. This whole subject
has been taboo for far too long. War zone rape is a crime that thrives on silence and denial.
The stigma harms survivors and it causes feelings of shame and worthlessness. It feeds ignorance,
such as the notion that rape has anything to do with normal sexual impulses. But, most
of all, it allows the rapists to get away with it.
They feel above the law because the law rarely touches them
and society tolerates them. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
the destiny of human rights is in the hands of all our citizens and all our communities.
And this evil will continue ruining the lives of millions of people unless we
make this summit a turning point.
And we can.
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.
We must work together in new and unprecedented ways across borders and religions, bringing
governments and people together and tackling the problem from every possible angle.
And, by doing this, we can end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war once
and for all. We really can do it. So thank you so much for joining us today, for joining
us in this fight, and I wish us all a very productive summit.
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Angelina Jolie speech at opening of End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit

19044 Folder Collection
Vicky published on September 8, 2014    Asta Lee translated    Vicky reviewed
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