Angelina Jolie’s always been passionately outspoken when it comes to awareness regarding social issues, especially through her work with the United Nations Human Rights Campaign.
She’s currently promoting the UN’s 16 Days of Activism campaign “to prevent and end violence against women and girls,” and while discussing the campaign with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Jolie offered her advice to women — and anyone else — who are fearing abuse during the holiday season.
“Talk to someone. Try to find allies,” she said. “Be connected for emergencies. For example, you can agree 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.”
Jolie also had advice for what you should do if you suspect someone you know is experiencing abuse during the holidays: “Try to stay close and present in their lives. Make it clear that you are there for them. Another thing we can all do is educate ourselves.”
“Learn about domestic violence. Learn how trauma affects our health and can lead to biological changes, particularly in children. Take these issues seriously.”
If you or someone you know is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You can find more resources, information, and support here.