Evan Rachel Wood shares powerful domestic abuse story using #IAmNotOk

Wood's social media posts have inspired thousands of Twitter users to use the hashtag #IAmNotOk to share their own stories of domestic abuse

Katie O'Malley@KatieOMalley_
Tuesday 12 March 2019 14:25
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Evan Rachel Wood shares powerful domestic abuse story using #IAmNotOk

Evan Rachel Wood has opened up about resorting to self-harm after suffering from domestic abuse.

On Monday, the actor shared a photograph on Instagram of herself on the set of a photoshoot alongside a caption which detailed her experience of abuse.

“The day of this photoshoot, I was so weakened by an abusive relationship,” Wood began the caption. “I was emaciated, severely depressed, and could barely stand. I fell into a pool of tears and was sent home for the day.”

Moments later, the actor later shared a photograph - which has since received a “sensitive content” warning from the social media platform - alongside a caption that recounted her self-harm during a previous relationship with an unnamed partner.

“*trigger warning* 2 years into my abusive relationship I resorted to self harm,” the actor captioned the image of herself.

The 31-year-old continued, recalling incidents when she would self-harm to stop the abuse, but to no avail.

“When my abuser would threaten or attack me, I cut my wrist as a way to disarm him,” Wood wrote.

“It only made the abuse stop temporarily. At that point I was desperate to stop the relentless abuse and I was too terrified to leave.”

The actor concluded both posts with the hashtag “#IAmNotOk”.

Inspired by Wood, several Twitter users have used the hashtag to share their own stories of domestic abuse. The actor has since retweeted several of their posts.

“I spent my entire childhood unsafe, suffering at the hands of a twisted, evil terrorist in our own house & wondering if my mom would be alive when I got home from school,” wrote one user.

“Before and after escaping, we were re-victimized by those supposed to help. We need to do better. #IAmNotOkay.”

Another wrote: “#IamNotOkay I was told every day that I wasn't enough, that I needed to hold my feelings in, that I needed to be prettier, skinnier, quieter. 31 years later and I can still hear her voice in my head telling me I will fail.”

“I'm still damaged from my emotionally abusive relationship. #IAmNotOk,” tweeted another.

Celebrities including fashion designer Ally Hilfiger and actor Linda Perry also included the hashtag in posts to raise awareness of domestic abuse in the US.

“I am not OK with the fact that 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the USA. @iamnotokMVMT #iamnotOK,” tweeted Perry.

Hilfiger added: “#iamnotOK with the current statue of limitations for domestic Violence survivors.”

Hours later, Wood posted a video on Instagram in which she details how she struggles to feel safe.

“I think about it every day in one way or another,” she says in the clip. “I’m not OK 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’ll ever be able to fully do that."

Fighting through tears, Wood continues to say that she is unable to remember a time when she didn’t feel scared.

The actor's comments follow her appearance on the latest episode of Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert, in which she spoke about her experience of domestic abuse.

In the interview, the actor said that following abuse: “You lose a sense of self, and your sense of reality, because you’re stuck in this nightmare.”

In February 2018, Wood gave a testimony in front of a House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington D.C to advocate for Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights Act in all 50 states.

During the hearing, the actor opened up about being raped, tortured and mentally abused by a former partner and her struggle with self-half to the point of two suicide attempts, which resulted in her checking into a psychiatric hospital.

“This was, however, a turning point in my life when I started seeking professional help to deal with my trauma and mental stress,” Wood said.

“But others are not so fortunate, and because of this rape is often more than a few minutes of trauma, but slow death.”

Earlier this year, Wood wrote about her mental health struggles in an essay for Nylon magazine.

“Looking back, it was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me,” the actor wrote of a suicide attempt aged 22 before she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Actor Evan Rachel Wood speaks during the 2019 Women's March Los Angeles on 19 January 2019 in Los Angeles, California

“I had felt worthless, and like the world was better of without me. But it turned out I had helped myself in a way I never thought was possible. I gave to someone who then gave back to me,” she wrote.

Wood continued, writing: “Depression isn’t a weakness, it’s a sickness. Sometimes a deadly one.

“And sometimes all people need is to know that they are loved and that others are there for them.”

The Independent has decided not to include one of Wood's Instagram posts for sensitivity reasons.

For confidential support with mental health you can contact The Samaritans on their free, 24-hour phone support by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

You can also contact mental health charity Mind by calling 0300 123 3393, texting 86463 or emailing info@mind.org.uk.

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