Evan Rachel Wood is discussing why she "resorted to self harm" during a past abusive relationship

By Natalie Stone
March 11, 2019 05:23 PM
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Evan Rachel Wood is opening up about a past abusive relationship and why she resorted to self-harm.

In a heartbreaking post on Monday, the Westworld actress shared a photo of the scars on her wrists, which were a result of her cutting herself while she was in a toxic relationship with an unnamed ex.

“*trigger warning* 2 years into my abusive relationship I resorted to self harm,” she captioned the Instagram image of herself, which features Wood, 31, closing her eyes while lying on a pillow alongside her scarred wrist.

Wood explained that when she was attacked or threatened by her ex, she would cut her wrist as a way to stop the abuse.

“When my abuser would threaten or attack me, I cut my wrist as a way to disarm him,” she said.

Unfortunately, the abuse didn’t stop, she said.

“It only made the abuse stop temporarily. At that point I was desperate to stop the relentless abuse and I was too terrified to leave,” said the star.

“#IAmNotOk,” she concluded.

The graphic post comes more than a year after she gave an emotional testimony in front of a House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington D.C. in February 2018 to advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Acts in all 50 states.

During the hearing, the actress said she was raped twice “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.”

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The mother of one — she shares a 5-year-old son with ex-husband Jamie Bell — said she was later so affected by the sexual assaults that she spent time in a psychiatric hospital after attempting 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.”

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.”

In January, Wood wrote in a moving essay for Nylon that her wakeup call about her mental health came after her suicide attempt at age 22.

“Looking back, it was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me,” Wood began.

In the piece, she discussed her treatment at a psychiatric hospital. “I had felt worthless, and like the world was better of without me. But it turned out I had helped myself in a way I never thought was possible. I gave to someone who then gave back to me,” she wrote.

Since her stay, Wood said she’s continued going to therapy and has managed to wean herself of medication.

“Depression isn’t a weakness, it’s a sickness. Sometimes a deadly one,” Woods concluded. “And sometimes all people need is to know that they are loved and that others are there for them.”