Angelina Jolie sends out a call to action to help vulnerable children during Covid-19
Angelina Jolie hopes people will “reach out” to help vulnerable children following the publication of her article about the increase in child abuse amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The ‘Maleficent’ star wrote an op-ed piece for TIME magazine last week in which she highlighted the growing number of children being put in vulnerable situations as families are being forced to stay at home as a result of the health crisis.
And following the article’s publication, Angelina has said she hopes her words will inspire people to “love each other” and “check in with each other”.
Speaking in a video discussion for TIME with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s Surgeon General, she said: “I think it is so important that people hear that. To love each other, check in with each other. Be there, be a support group, keep your eyes open whether you are a teacher or a friend.
“I really do hope people hear this, and they do reach out, and they do pay more attention, and they are not sitting in a moment when they think, ‘Well maybe, but it’s not my business.’ Because those kids aren’t going to school right now, and teachers can’t see the bruises and people aren’t identifying what is happening within some homes.”
In her original op-ed, the 44-year-old actress explained how isolating a child from their friends and other loved ones will "inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children”.
She wrote: "Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers, meaning that the social distancing that is necessary to stop COVID-19 is one that will inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children. There are already reports of a surge in domestic violence around the world, including violent killings.
"It comes at a time when children are deprived of the very support networks that help them cope: from their trusted friends and teachers to after-school sports activities and visits to a beloved relative's house that provide an escape from their abusive environment. Covid-19 has cut children off from their friends, their regular schooling and their freedom of movement. With well over a billion young people living under lockdown worldwide, there has been a lot of focus on how to prevent children missing out on their education, as well as how to lift their spirits and keep them joyful in isolation.”
Angelina also said she has tried to use her platform to support those children going through tough times.
She added: "The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children have produced a series of guides to help protect children during the pandemic, including managing stress and talking to children about difficult issues. The Child Helpline Network can direct parents or anyone with concerns to a number to call for advice and information. And there are sites that can help you if you have concerns about your own relationship. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an effort by the whole of our country to give children the protection and care they deserve."