Angelina Jolie Opens Summit To End Wartime Sexual Violence

Actress and global humanitarian Angelina Jolie opened a conference aimed at ending sexual violence in war zones.

Angelina Jolie Opens Summit To End Wartime Sexual Violence
U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Actress Angelina Jolie continued her global humanitarian efforts Tuesday by launching a four-day summit on ending sexual violence in times of war. (Via Flickr / Gage Skidmore)

JOLIE: "It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. We need to shatter that culture of impunity and make justice the norm, not the exception, for these crimes." (Via Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

Joined by British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Excel Centre in London, Jolie opened what's being called the largest meeting ever held on the issue of rape in warring regions across the globe. (Via CNN)

HAGUE: "We can remove war-zone rape from the world's arsenal of cruelty. We can't do this overnight." (Via The Telegraph)

The Telegraph reports the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is the result of a two-year collaboration between Hague and United Nations Special Envoy Jolie. Both have visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bosnia to meet survivors of wartime rape. (Via Alqarra TV)

Jolie dedicated the conference to one particular woman she and Hague met in Bosnia. The woman told them she was too humiliated to tell her own son she'd been raped.

"Having had no justice for her particular crime, in her particular situation, and having seen the actual man who raped her on the streets free, she really felt abandoned by the world." (Via ITN)

According to a recent report from the U.N., warring parties frequently use sexual violence as a "cheap and devastating" weapon against communities that are involved in the violence.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, The Independent reports 12 percent of women say they've been raped at least once.

Jolie and Hague say they hope the summit will help establish an international set of legal standards for prosecuting rape, among other goals. The conference will end Friday with a video statement by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.