Actress and singer Evan Rachel Wood testified before Congress on Tuesday in a hearing about the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights Act, and got extremely candid about her past experiences with rape, domestic violence, suicide and PTSD.
At the top of her chilling five-minute long testimony, Wood said she would divulge details of her abuse because "If you can't hear the whole truth, you will never know true empathy."
First Wood spoke about the domestic abuse she had endured:
It started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gas-lighting and brainwashing, [and] waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body. 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.
Wood said that there were several instances where she feared for her life at the hands of her abuser:
Because of this abuse […] when I was pushed onto the floor of a locked storage closest by another attacker, after hours at a bar, my body instinctively knew what to do: Disappear, go numb, make it go away. Being abused and raped previously made it easier for me to be raped again — not the other way around.
Wood then spoke about how the domestic abuse brought on bouts of depression, addiction, agoraphobia, and night terrors:
"Seven years after my rapes — plural — I was diagnosed with long term PTSD," Wood said. "Which I had been living with all that time without knowledge about my condition. I simply thought I was going crazy."
The Westworld star said at two points, she even tried to take her own life.
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. But others are not so fortunate, and because of this rape is often more than a few minutes of trauma, but slow death.
But Wood was not alone fighting for the Act. Amanda Nguyen, the CEO and founder of RISE, and Rebecca O'Connor, the Vice President of the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) also joined her as witnesses.
Wood, Nguyen, O'Connor and the other witnesses present were successful in getting the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights Act passed in all 50 states.
To watch the entire hearing, click here.