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Angelina Jolie speaks out against ISIS rape policy in wrenching Parliament speech

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PA Wire/AP

Actress, filmmaker and human rights advocate Angelina Jolie Pitt appeared before the British Parliament on Tuesday to speak out against sexual violence in Iraq and Syria.

In a moving speech in front of the U.K.’s House of Lords, Jolie Pitt, a special envoy for the United Nations Human Rights Council, recounted the harrowing experiences of women and girls she met during her travels, including very young girls who had been raped and sold. She also condemned sexual violence condoned by the Islamic State, saying that ISIS uses rape as a weapon.

“They are dictating it as policy… beyond what we have seen before,” Jolie Pitt told members of Parliament, according to the BBC. She added that rape isn’t about sex, but rather about violence and power. It is a very effective weapon, and they are using it as a centerpoint of their terror and their way of destroying communities and families, and attacking and dehumanizing.”

Jolie Pitt has campaigned for refugee causes for more than a decade, and in 2012 was named a U.N. special envoy; previously she had served as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Last year, she co-chaired a global summit with British foreign secretary William Hague, seeking to deter the use of mass rape as a weapon of war.

See part of Jolie Pitt’s House of Lords speech in the video below.