Evan Rachel Wood Emotionally Recalls Sexual Assault During Congressional Testimony
Evan Rachel Wood understands the importance of this moment.
The Westworld star was one of several women who stood before Congress on Tuesday to offer emotional testimony advocating the passage of a Survivors' Bill of Rights Act, which would write protections for those who suffer emotional and physical sexual abuse due to assault, harassment and rape into the law.
"I'm here today to use my position as an artist, survivor, mother and advocate to bring a human voice to the population of 25 million survivors in the U.S. who are currently experiencing inequality under the law and who desperately need basic civil rights," the 30-year-old actress shared.
Going on to highlight both the Me Too and Time's Up movements, Wood remarked on how equally hopeful and sad it is to hear all the stories of those who have come forward over the past year.
"While no one had to tell me that rape was a worldwide epidemic, to see the flood of stories so similar to my own was both freeing and soul-crushing," she said. "I would like to say to my attackers that I don't hate you -- I feel sorry for you. I'm not here to shame you, I want to understand you, and I want you to understand me, but you have to listen first."
Wood then detailed her own harrowing experiences with rape and assault, detailing how they still affect her to this day.
"Seven years after my rapes -- plural -- I was diagnosed with long-term PTSD," she shared. "I struggled with depression, addiction, agoraphobia, night terrors."
"I struggled with self-harm to the point of two suicide attempts, which landed me in a psychiatric hospital for a short period of time," she said, noting, "This was, however, a turning point in my life when I started seeking professional help to deal with my trauma and mental stress, but others are not so fortunate."
Watch the entire proceeding below. Wood's testimony begins at the 18:30 mark.
As difficult as it must have been to retell their stories, Wood described a sense of elation on Instagram about the importance of what she and her fellow survivors were doing, writing, "Making herstory with these incredible women, testifying in front of #Congress today. Still spinning. ✊? @risenow.us."
Wood has long been candid about her experiences with sexual trauma. Watch the video below for more of what she has had to say.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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