In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Evan Rachel Wood addressed her experiences of sexual assault and abuse. In a follow-up email after the interview, and after the presidential election, she felt that she needed to be honest about what happened to her.
“I am still standing. I am alive. I am happy. I am strong. But I am still not ok.”
And there it is. Something that is broken can still function. It can still be beautiful. It can still fulfill its purpose in some way, shape or form. But it’s broken. In moments and quiet, the breaks appear and then can disappear entirely, but they’re there. However imperceptibly, it is broken.
“I think deep down, I also didn’t want to be accused of doing it for attention, or told it wasn’t a big deal or ‘that’s not really rape.’ I will not be ashamed.”
Fuck. That’s a gut punch. Because that’s something I still struggle with. Still. Despite being 31 now, despite having a daughter, despite having a son, despite doing what I do and writing what I wrote for a living. I wrote this yesterday, and referred to a time “I woke up to a crush actually having sex with me.” That’s still how I refer to it. I would tell any one of you that this is rape. But to admit it to myself, not even out of a denial that this happened to me but a refusal to accept that this wasn’t my fault or something I’ve exaggerated or overreacted to over the years, that’s something I struggle with even right now.
This is a tremendous interview, where she also addresses the struggles of being bisexual (thank you, girl) and the violence against women on Westworld. I encourage everyone to read it all. But this, for especially this, I am grateful.
So thank you, Evan. For those of us who struggle. We know you struggle, too. And we thank you for this.