Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood has shared an emotional video and Instagram posts about her experience of an abusive relationship.
The actress says she thinks about it “every day”.
She shared a number of posts with the hashtag #IAmNotOk – a movement highlighting domestic abuse.
“I’m not ok because no matter how much work I do I’m still searching for some sort of peace and I’m searching to feel safe,” she said in the video.
“I’m still trying to put all this behind me but I don’t know if I’ll ever be fully able to do that.
“I’m not OK because I don’t remember what it feels like to not be scared.”
She also posted images from a 2010 photoshoot with the fashion label Gucci for Elle magazine, describing how at the time of the shoot, her physical and mental health had suffered as a result of the abuse she was experiencing.
“The day of this photoshoot, I was so weakened by an abusive relationship,” she writes.
“I was emaciated, severely depressed, and could barely stand. I fell into a pool of tears and was sent home for the day.”
‘I was desperate’
And she revealed that she resorted to self-harming.
Alongside the image of her self-inflicted injuries she writes: “[Two] 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.”
Self harm images on social media ‘unacceptable’
The World Health Organisation warns that 67,000 cases of suicide and accidental death in 2017 happened because of self harm.
The NSPCC has today described the number of self harm images on Instagram as “unacceptable”.
UK charity Women’s Aid says Evan is “incredibly brave” for speaking out about her experience and that often women will turn to self-harm to try to cope with their partners’ controlling and abusive behaviour.
“In some cases, women attempt to commit suicide because the abuse makes them feel as though there is no other way out,” says a spokesperson for the charity.
“We hope that Evan Rachel Wood’s post will help people understand why “just leaving” is not straightforward, it can be an incredibly dangerous time for survivors and often the abuser’s threats and intimidation means that the survivor is living in constant fear and is too terrified to leave.”
A spokesperson for mental health charity Mind says anyone upset by self-harm content online should switch off or ask for help.
“If you come across something that upsets you close the screen or scroll quickly past it. You might want to log-off and take a break,” the charity says in a statement.
“If you find yourself having negative thoughts after seeing triggering content you should speak to a close friend or family member in person about how you’re feeling.”
Others have also shared their experiences online
Evan’s comments prompted her followers to share their experiences of domestic abuse, opening up about what they have suffered using the hashtag #IAmNotOk, including Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco.
She revealed an image of her back with injuries she says were from being whipped at the hands of an ex-partner.
“The injuries you see are real,” she says.
“The whipping that gave me these wounds was filmed in the name of “art”.
“I used to look at this photo with pride because I thought it was a sign of great devotion to my abuser. Now I look at it with horror. “
In 2018, Rachel Evan Wood gave evidence about her experiences of violence and sexual assault to Congress in the US.
It was in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act.
At the time she said she was raped by an ex-partner while unconscious and was “mentally and physically tortured until my abuser felt I had proven my love for them”.
If you’re being affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can find help at the BBC Advice pages.
Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood has shared a picture showing how she self-harmed as a result of an abusive relationship. The graphic image was part of a series of posts on Instagram and Twitter. They were accompanied by the hashtag #IAmNotOk – a movement highlighting domestic abuse.