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The terror group ISIS is using rape as a weapon of terror to a degree "beyond what we have seen before," actress and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie told a committee of the House of Lords in England on Tuesday.
"It is a violent, brutal, terrorizing weapon," Jolie, special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said.
Jolie urged a "very strong response" to the crisis. 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 and girls 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.
Oscar-winning Jolie, who 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.
This included a 13-year-old Iraqi girl whom she said was raped repeatedly along with her friends and sold for $40.
Jolie said in Tuesday’s committee on 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."
Jolie said ISIS are dictating rape "as a policy" in Syria and Iraq.
"They are saying: 'You should do this, this is the way to build a society, we ask you to rape,'" Jolie said.
"We really have to have a very strong response at this time to this particular group," Jolie said.
The United Kingdom is part of a coalition conducting airstrikes against ISIS in the region.