Evan Rachel Wood Shares A Letter About Being Sexually Assaulted Because She Doesn't Believe "People Can Stay Silent Any Longer"
On Nov. 17, Rolling Stone released an interview with Evan Rachel Wood, in which the Westworld star said she had been raped in an email she sent to the reporter on the day after the 2016 presidential election, after the interview was conducted. The entirety of her letter was not revealed until Monday, Nov. 28 when Evan Rachel Wood shared the letter about being sexually assaulted on Twitter. She tweeted, "Well, since everything is out in the open now, figured I would share the confession letter I wrote to @RollingStone in its entirety. #NotOk"
It is a powerful letter and one that will speak volumes to those who have been sexually assaulted. She writes,
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 years ago and of course I 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.
Before releasing the letter, Wood opened up deeply to Rolling Stone about the struggles she says she's faced in life. At the age of 22, the 29-year-old actor said she attempted suicide saying it "was, weirdly, the best-worst thing that ever happened" to her, mainly because "it did not work." She added, "Nearly half of bisexual women have considered or attempted suicide, they have higher rates of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, one in two bisexual women has experienced severe violence by an intimate partner." The Golden Globe nominee did not go into details about the "severe violence," but did say it was "physical, psychological, sexual." This is where part of her above letter was incorporated into the Rolling Stone piece, which has garnered quite a bit of attention and rightfully so.
Wood's words echo many sexual assault survivors' stories, including other celebrities who have come forward about their sexual assault experiences. From Birth of a Nation actor Gabrielle Union to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star Amber Tamblyn to singer Lady Gaga, Wood is just one of many women opening up in an attempt to change the unfortunate rape culture that exists in society today.
As Wood says,
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. 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.
Be sure to read her letter in from beginning to end, because, to use her own words, stories like hers should not be "swept under the rug."