Terror group ISIS is using rape as a weapon of terror to a degree “beyond what we have seen before,” actress and special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, told a committee of the House of Lords in England on Tuesday.
“It is a violent, brutal, terrorizing weapon,” said Jolie.
ISIS, also known as Islamic State, has sold women as slaves during sick auctions in territories the group has captured, survivors have told NBC News.
Thousands of women of all ages have been abducted, raped and sold into sexual slavery by ISIS since the militant group declared a caliphate across swathes of Syria and Iraq last summer, according to the United Nations and rights groups.
The actress joined forces with former British foreign secretary, William Hague, in 2012 to launch an initiative to prevent sexual violence in conflict, spoke about girls she had met in war zones who had been raped, according to NBC News.
One of the girls was a 13-year-old Iraqi girl who was raped repeatedly along with her friends and sold for $40, according to NBC News.
On Tuesday, Jolie explained that the sexual violence in war that ISIS “knows that it [rape] is a very effective weapon, and they are using it as a center point of their terror and their way of destroying communities and families.”
In addition, Jolie explained that ISIS is making rape “a policy,” and stated:
“They are saying, ‘You should do this, this is the way to build a society, we ask you to rape.’ We really have to have a very strong response at this time to this particular group.”