As part of the effort to convince Congress to implement the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood testified in Washington yesterday about her own experiences with sexual assault. The passionate, five-minute speech detailing the violence she suffered perfectly highlights why putting rights for assault survivors into law is so essential.
"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," Wood said. "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...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 went on to explain what most sexual assault survivors know to be true: “Being abused and raped previously made it easier for me to be raped again — not the other way around.”
The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, Wood said, is "the recognition of basic civil rights for sexual assault survivors and serves as a first step. It's a safety net that may help save someone's life one day."
You can watch the full hearing below.