Evan Rachel Wood Brought Her Fight To Protect Survivors Of Assault To Congress

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Evan Rachel Wood won't be silenced. The Westworld actress appeared with two other sexual assault survivors before Congress on Tuesday to fight for the nationwide implementation of the Sexual Assault Survivor's Bill of Rights Act.
"I'm here today to use my position as an artist, survivor, mother, and advocate to bring a human voice to the population of 25 million survivors in the U.S. who are currently experiencing inequality under the law and who desperately need basic civil rights," she said, according to Mashable.
The Survivors' Bill of Rights Act was signed into law in 2016. Currently, it ensures that no one can be denied or charged for a forensic medical examination. It also states that after a rape kit is used, the medical results must be kept for 20 years "or the maximum applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter." Currently, this Act is implemented on the federal level; Wood and other advocates would like to see every single state adopt the same laws and policies.
Wood, who has been an active participant in the #MeToo movement, detailed some of her harrowing experiences before the House Judiciary Committee to highlight the long-lasting effects of sexual assault.
"Seven years after my rapes — plural — I was diagnosed with long term PTSD, which I had been living with all that time without knowledge about my condition. I simply thought I was going crazy," she explained. "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.”
Wood revealed last year in a YouTube video that she had been raped and abused by "very powerful, very rich, very entitled, very narcissistic white men," and that she feared the personal and professional repercussions of coming forward.
Though she may not be ready to name names, one thing is certain: Wood's bravery and determination to start a meaningful conversation are making the world a safer place for women and girls everywhere.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).