AnnaLynne McCord wants women to have a voice when it comes to sexual assault. She’s sharing her story to empower others.
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As a child, she was homeschooled along with her two sisters while being raised in “an extremely religious and conservative” family.
She shared, “My parents believed in strict ‘discipline,’ as they called it — I would call it abuse. The punishments were painful and ritualistic. We would have to bend over the bed, sometimes with our pants down, arms outstretched, and get spanked — with a ruler in our younger years and later with a paddle that my parents bought when they thought the ruler wasn’t strong enough.”
That learned behavior at home continued into her dating life. She “pushed men to be violent” toward her because “as I had learned in my childhood, people who loved me hurt me.”
As an 18-year-old novice actress in Los Angeles, she couch-surfed at a male friend’s house. After going to sleep, she said he raped her.
“I felt so disoriented and numb. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep,” the former 90210 star said. “Because of the physical abuse, I didn’t believe there were borders between other people’s bodies and my own. I didn’t believe I had a voice.”
Those events eventually led to suicidal thoughts and depression where death “felt like a solution.”
The 26-year-old actress sought help and has recovered from the trauma of her earlier years. She’s now at peace sharing her message with the public.
McCord summed up, “I forgave myself for not standing up for myself, and I began channeling my experience into something good. I have my message for women and girls: You have a voice. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution.”
Read the complete column by AnnaLynne McCord in the July issue of Cosmopolitan, available on newsstands June 3, 2014.