Evan Rachel Wood Posts Photo Of Self-Harm Scars In Discussion About Abusive Relationship
Content warning: This article discusses self-harm and abuse.
Evan Rachel Wood opened up about her experiences of being "weakened by an abusive relationship" in the past, and how it came to affect her work.
Recounting the day of a 2010 photoshoot with Chris Evans for Elle magazine, Evan wrote that she was "emaciated, severely depressed, and could barely stand", and ended up being sent home.
Engaging with the hashtag #IAmNotOK, which aims to raise awareness around domestic violence by amplifying the stories of survivors, Evan went on to post a photo of self-harm scars on her wrist, writing:
"2 years into my abusive relationship I resorted to self harm. When my abuser would threaten or attack me, I cut my wrist as a way to disarm him. It only made the abuse stop temporarily. At that point I was desperate to stop the abuse and I was too terrified to leave.
In an emotional video, she shared that even years after the relationship, "it's really hard to feel safe".
"I think about it every day, in one way or another," she said. "I'm not okay because no matter how much work I do, how much work I've done, I'm still searching for some kind of peace. I'm still searching to feel safe, and I'm still trying to put all of this behind me. But I don't know if I'm ever -- I don't know if I'll ever fully be able to do that."
Tearfully, she finished: "I'm not okay, because I don't remember what it feels like to not be scared."
In February last year, Evan testified at a House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington D.C, advocating for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Acts in all 50 states.
In her testimony, Evan said that she had been raped twice, once while in a relationship with her unnamed ex "a decade ago", and once by another unnamed man after the abusive relationship ended.
She noted: “Being abused and raped previously made it easier for me to be raped again -- not the other way around.”
Of her relationship, Evan testified:
"It started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gas-lighting and brainwashing, 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.”
She continued: "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."
Evan went on to share how the abusive relationship had impacted her mental health, revealing that she "struggled with self-harm to the point of two suicide attempts" and spent time in a psychiatric hospital "for a short period of time".
Calling the hospital stay a "turning point" where she began "seeking professional help to deal with [her] trauma and mental stress".
"Others are not so fortunate," she pointed out, "and because of this, rape is often more than a few minutes of trauma, but slow death."
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 . A range of suicide prevention and mental health resources based around the country can be found here.
Feature image: Getty Images