Evan Rachel Wood Details Her Experience of Rape and Torture in Harrowing Testimony to Congress
Evan Rachel Wood is opening up about the sexual assaults she experienced in order to make a change.
The Westworld actress gave an emotional testimony in front of a House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Acts in all 50 states. During the hearing, the actress said the two rapes happened “a decade ago” and described the abuse she endured from one of her previous boyfriends.
“It started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gas-lighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,” Wood said during the panel. “And the worst part: Sick rituals of binding me up by my hands and feet to be mentally and physically tortured until my abuser felt I had proven my love for them.”
She continued, “While I was tied up and being beaten and told unspeakable things, I truly felt like I could die. Not just because my abuser said to me, ‘I could kill you right now,’ but because in that moment I felt like I left my body and I was too afraid to run.”
Wood was later assaulted by another man and explained that her previous experience made her a target, saying, “Being abused and raped previously made it easier for me to be raped again — not the other way around.”
The actress said she was later so affected by the sexual assaults that she spent time in a psychiatric hospital after attempting to commit suicide.
“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. This was, however, a turning point in my life when I started seeking professional help to deal with my trauma and mental stress,” Wood said. “But others are not so fortunate, and because of this rape is often more than a few minutes of trauma, but slow death.”
Wood later took to her social media to recount her day speaking to Congress.
During a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Wood admitted she has suffered “physical, psychological [and] sexual” abuse, though she didn’t offer further details. Then, in an email separate from their interview she sent the reporter the day after the U.S. presidential election, Wood revealed she has been sexually assaulted twice.
“Yes,” she wrote. “I’ve been raped. By a significant other while we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar.”
“I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer,” she added. “Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism.”