9021o actress AnnaLynne McCord has been working with the Somaly Mam Foundation to give sex slave victims a voice, but on International Women's Day, she decided to speak up.
In an interview with the BBC, McCord revealed that she had been raped when she was 18 years old by someone she knew.
"I was in my own home," she said. "I let a friend come and stay and I woke up to find my Southern hospitality was being greatly taken advantage of. I woke up, and he was inside me."
McCord said when she woke up to the sexual assault she was paralyzed with fear and couldn't fight back. After, she tried to pretend it didn't happen.
"For 10 years I thought it was my fault. I didn’t fight back," she said. "I found out recently through my studies of neuroscience that my body completely shut down and wouldn’t let me fight back because I thought that was the only way to cope with abuse."
McCord said she tried to continue her life as if nothing happened but she "became very, very dark. Suicidal. Self-harming — cutting up my arms." It was only after playing a rape survivor on 90210 that she started to really cope with the assault and realize she wasn't to blame for what had happened to her. No rape victim is.
McCord, who had been raped in 2012, decided to speak about her experience again, now, because she wanted others to know that there isn't one kind of rape. "I was never raped in these scenarios they tell you you’re going to get raped in," she said.
There is a myth that people are not raped by people they know and trust, only strangers, but, according to RAINN statistics, only 28% of sexual assaults are committed by strangers. RAINN reported that 45% of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim, and 25% are committed by a former partner.
McCord is hoping by speaking out, other survivors will know that they don't have to be silent."You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box," McCord said. "Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you."
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).