Evan Rachel Wood reveals she was raped, tried to commit suicide
Evan Rachel Wood opened up to Rolling Stone about her traumatic experience with sexual assault, as well as with a suicide attempt at 22 years old.
Though her interview with the magazine was conducted much earlier, the Westworld actress, 29, actually revealed her experiences in an email to the publication after Donald Trump was elected president. Rolling Stone pared down her statement, which she published in full on Twitter on Nov. 29, 2016.
"I started questioning my reasons for staying vague about my experiences as a girl growing up in America. I think, like a lot of women, I had the urge to not make it a sob story, to not make it about me," she wrote. "I didn't have to confirm what happened, what mattered is that s**t happened. Bad. S**t. That still affects me to this day. I think deep down, I also didn't want to be accused of doing it for attention, or told it wasn't a big deal, or 'that's not really rape.'"
She continued, "I will not be ashamed. I will also not project some false idea of being completely over it because 'I am so strong.' I don't believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer. I certainly can't. Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism. It should be talked about because it's swept under the rug as nothing and I will not accept this as 'normal'. It's a serious problem. I am still standing. I am alive. I am happy. I am strong. But I am still not ok."
Part of why Wood spoke out was because of pressures placed on survivors, she explained.
"I think it's important for people to know that, for survivors to own that, and that the pressure to just get over it already, should be lifted. It will remind people of the damage that has been done and how the trauma of a few minutes can turn into a lifetime of fighting for yourself," she wrote. "It's not that you can't get over it, it's just that you are never the same, or maybe I just haven't gotten there yet."
"So to answer your blunt question bluntly, yes. I have been raped. By a significant other while we were together, and on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar," she said. "The first time I was unsure that if it was done by a partner it was still in fact rape, until too late. Also who would believe me. And the second time, I thought it was my fault and that I should have fought back more, but I was scared. This was many many years ago and I of course know now neither one was my fault and neither one was ok."
She concluded, "This was all before I tried to commit suicide and I am sure was one of the many factors. There you have it."
Wood explained that another factor in her suicide attempt was her struggle to be taken seriously as a gender-fluid bisexual woman. "It was always talked about like a phase or something stupid, or something you were doing for attention," she told Rolling Stone. "You know, bisexuality is worthy of eye rolls. And I didn't realize how damaging that was until I tried to have healthy relationships as an adult and realized that there was still all this shame and conditioning and stigma around my sexuality that was really affecting the way I related to people. I think I was taken advantage of because someone knew there was something about me that they could exploit."
After her letter went viral, Wood announced that she'd be taking a break from social media, writing, "Thank you for all your support and courageous stories. You are not alone."