Silence is the greatest ally of sexual violence. We have to break the silence and give the survivors a voice.
Angelina Jolie is co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), which she launched in May 2012 with William Hague MP.
The campaign strives to end the use of rape as a weapon of war by addressing the culture of impunity that exists for crimes of sexual violence in conflict, tackling the stigma and increasing the number of perpetrators held to account. The campaign was inspired by Angelina’s directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey, which brought to light the use of rape as a weapon of war in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
As part of their joint work on PSVI, Angelina Jolie and William Hague have travelled to the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa and Bosnia – Herzegovina to engage with the survivors and local NGOs and host governments.
PSVI has driven forward the efforts of governments, militaries, international organisations and civil society to establish a number of UN resolutions and G8 declarations addressing this issue.
In 2014 the first Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict took place in London and put PSVI firmly on the world map and the international peace and security agenda.
In June 2017 Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Priorities of PSVI
In the coming years, the initiative will intensively promote cooperation between foreign governments, the UN, the AU, international organizations and civil society to end sexual violence in conflict. Three important key areas are:
- To end the stigma that survivors and victims of sexual violence suffer in conflict situations.
- Improving access to health care, psychosocial support and livelihood programs, justice for survivors and training for the International Protocol.
- Establish measures such as security forces and peacekeeping missions around the world to prevent and respond to these crimes by providing the military and police personnel with international and bilateral training on sexual violence in conflict.
Since 2012 it has trained over 17,000 military and police personnel on sexual violence issues, sent over 90 deployments of the UK team of experts to affected countries, committed over £46 million in UK funding and supported numerous projects around the world.
The work has focused on countries such as Burma, Bosnia, Colombia, DRC, Iraq, Kosovo, Mali, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, CAR, Burundi and Nigeria.
- challenged the stigmas associated with sexual violence to reduce the risk of survivors and victims being ostracised from their families and communities
- supported survivors and victims with medical, psycho-social and legal support to help them rebuild their lives and receive necessary medical care and also supported survivors and victims with the legal process to bring perpetrators to account
- launched the International Protocol for the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict to support survivors and victims to access justice. This has been translated it into 10 languages to ensure that human rights defenders, lawyers and police and military forceshave the right tools and training to gather evidence to strengthen the prosecution of sexual violence perpetrators
- supported affected countries with legal reform, which has led to the recognition of such crimes for the first time, the signing of communiqués, development of action plans, landmark rulings by courts and compensation being awarded in some of these countries
- built the capacity of governments, judiciary, police, military and civil society to gather evidence and strengthen prosecutions
- provided training to military and police personnel, peacekeepers, grassroots organisations and human rights defenders on sexual violence issues. As first responders they have a crucial role to play when meeting a survivor or victim for the first time
- supported around 50 projects with human rights defenders, civil society, grassroots organisations and international partners to deliver the above
About Sexual Violence in Conflict Website PSVI Events