Last week, Rolling Stone published a profile Evan Rachel Wood. In the piece, Wood discusses her own personal experience as a survivor of rape.
Alex Morris, the author of the piece, included a quote from an email Wood sent him in which she explained why she told him her story, and why she wants to tell the world.
However the magazine only published a portion of the note, so in the name of transparency, the Westworld actress took to Twitter to share her email in its entirety.
In her email to Morris, Wood wrote:
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. ‘I didn’t have to confirm what happened, what mattered is that sh*t happened. Bad. Sh*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’. 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.”
Well said. She continued:
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. 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. 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. This was all before I tried to commit suicide and I am sure was one of the many factors. There you have it.”
The letter speaks to many of the reasons why survivors of rape often don’t come forward when they’ve been sexually assaulted, including a fear of being blamed, being accused of making it up, and being told it’s not a big deal.