AnnaLynne McCord Refuses To Stay Silent About Her Rape Anymore

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Playing the sharp, bitchy character of Naomi on the re-boot 90210 series and having to go through a tumultuous rape story line wasn’t just about putting on a great performance, for actress AnnaLynne McCord. The blonde beauty opened up to Cosmopolitan magazine that she in fact was raped in real life, and the story her character played out on-screen wasn’t that much of a stretch from how she was sexually assaulted in real life.

Rape has been a very hot topic over the past few weeks, and has been part of a growing viral conversation about gender violence in general. There have been some major stories in the news media, globally, that give very clear examples about the war on women. The fact that there are men who view women as just a commodity to do their bidding, and treat them with such disrespect is horrendous, and scary.

Men who will beat a woman to death throw acid on her face, shoot and kill her because she rejected his advances or didn’t give him what he wanted shows there is a very real epidemic where men need to be educated on the value and worth of a woman. Thankfully, there are amazing dudes like Jackson Katz and Jeremy Loveday who dedicate their lives to re-shaping the sexist attitudes of men in a range of different industries. But it is not enough just to let the experts handle this issue, it is up to every day men and women to share their stories, and bring to light the issues that have infiltrated our societies and our way of thinking.

AnnaLynne bravely opening up about her rape is an example of a celebrity sharing her story in the hope that it will give many other women courage to speak up, and not live in fear or shame.

“When I was 18, I moved to Los Angeles to audition for roles. My boyfriend planned to come later. One night, a guy friend called. He said he needed a good night’s sleep for a meeting, as he’d been crashing on someone’s couch. I had known him for some time, so I said to come over and I set him up with a clean towel. We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me,” she wrote.

“At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn’t want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over. My childhood had come back to haunt me again: 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.”

After her rape, she says that despite her on-screen career going from strength to strength, inside she was retreating further and further into darkness because she felt sick at what had happened to her. One day, something inside of her snapped and she realized being raped was not OK. She confronted her male friend and told him what he did was wrong.

“My friend’s reaction surprised me: He was so angry. I realized I was allowed to feel angry too. I told another friend, and she burst into tears. Again, I thought, I’m allowed to feel like this. I told my boyfriend. I told my older sister, Angel. It was another step. But it would take an outright breakdown to truly turn things around.”

After almost committing suicide while on holiday in Spain, and having her sister rescue her, for AnnaLynne to realize that although it was going to take some time to heal, it was possible to live with dignity and not allow the rape to define her.

“With some professional help, I started facing my past — all of it. I read books about psychology and philosophy. I forgave myself for not standing up for myself, and I began channeling my experience into something good.”

“I met a woman named Somaly Mam, who rescues girls from sexual slavery in Southeast Asia. The girls are kidnapped or sold as young as ages 4 and 5. They live in grimy brothels where they are raped every day. At one of Somaly’s shelters in Cambodia, I met dozens of young survivors. They became my friends, my sisters. Through helping them heal, I began to heal myself.”

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When her character Naomi went through the rape on 90210, AnnaLynne displayed a very visceral performance which she pulled from her actual experience. But what happened from that story line showed her that she wasn’t the only one who had gone through this, and her celebrity platform could be used in very positive ways.

“When I, as Naomi, fought with my unsupportive friend, she said the rapist had claimed I was in love with him. It was a little too close to real life, sparking my meltdown. But the story line gave me an opportunity. I talked to viewers about rape, and I heard from young women across the country.”

Throughout her whole ordeal, including telling her personal story with Cosmo, AnnaLynne realizes that the power of speaking up far outweighs the power of a perpetrator making a victim feel small and fearful.

“I have my message for women and girls: You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution.”

We hope her story will be a source of courage and hope for other rape victims out there. For those of you who know someone who was raped, the best thing you can do is listen, be supportive and help them however you can. Its far too common to hear excuses like “what was she wearing” “she was asking for it” “are you sure it was rape?” “how drunk was she?” etc.

None of these excuses constitute consensual sex, ever! Sexual assault historically has been brushed under the carpet because of perpetrators who are prominent people in society whose reputation communities would rather support, than a victim of a crime.

To learn more about some of the things rape victims go through, and why it is an issue that needs more awareness and education, we encourage you to watch the documentary ‘Brave Miss World‘. It is the story of Israeli beauty queen Linor Abargil, who won the Miss World crown in 1998. Six weeks before her crowning, she was raped and stabbed by a man who was working with her at a modeling agency in Italy. Linor’s extraordinary story shows how determined she was to publicly use his name, publicly speak about her ordeal, and not give up until justice was served.

Now, she travels around the world using her platform as “Miss World” and her rape story to encourage other women to speak out, and works at the Attorney General’s office in Tel-Aviv to help change the laws to protect victims of sexual crimes.

It is sad to think that a lot of sexual crimes go unreported because of a victim’s fear of speaking up. Through Linor’s and AnnaLynne’s story, it is clear that speaking out about the issue not only takes away that fear, but also takes back the power and allows them to go from a victim to a victor, because of how they are empowering so many others. If you are a victim of sexual assault, rape, or anything similar, we encourage you to seek out the right type of support in your community. Find the one person in your life that you can trust to tell your story, and then seek out a crisis center or local authorities who can help you bring justice for this crime.

Watch the trailer for ‘Brave Miss World’ below:


 

18 Comments

  1. Beautiful! I love reading things like this.

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