Actress AnnaLynne McCord’s Revealing Story Of Survival At International Women’s Day Celebration

One of the benefits of achieving celebrity status in today’s society is to bring issues and personal messages to the public eye, and actress AnnaLynne McCord has done just that with her efforts to bring more attention to the issue of violence against women. Seizing the opportunity to bring the issue to the public eye once again, McCord spoke at an event hosted by the United Nations on Friday, according to Daily Mail.

The event, organized to honor International Women’s Day, was given the theme of “Empowering Women — Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” In honor of that theme, AnnaLynne spoke out about her own experiences with sexual assault and the aftermath of surviving such a devastating attack. McCord stressed the idea that communication is the key to recovery, a concept AnnaLynne is all too familiar with in her own life.

“Talking is important… I’m a sexual assault survivor. The first moment of my healing began when I said I was raped. It’s taken me that long to get to a place where I can stand here on the red carpet and not feel triggers and PTSD.”

AnnaLynne went on to explain that she sought out sexier television roles as a way to reacquaint herself with her sexuality. McCord identified with the feelings of a loss of power victims of sexual assault so often suffer, so it seemed to AnnaLynne that the best way to overcome that feeling and gain some of that power back was to explore her sexuality more deeply through her work, reports Fashion & Style.

McCord has been outspoken about her victimization before, and she hopes that her frank discussion of the issue will encourage other women to step forward and speak out, as well. AnnaLynne wrote a piece, published in a May, 2014, issue of Cosmopolitan, detailing her own assault.

“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.”

Other speakers at the event included Somaly Mam, a Cambodian author and an advocate for human rights. Like McCord, Mam had her own personal experiences with assault as a survivor of human sex trafficking. Mam and Annalynne have forged a close friendship and used the event as an opportunity to spend time together. As well as spending time together, seen hugging and laughing, McCord and Mam had also had dinner together the night before the U.N. event.

Annalynne McCord has had a successful career on television that included recurring roles on Nip/Tuck, 90210, and Dallas. Most recently, McCord completed filming on the made-for-TV movie Watch Your Back.

Proving that her sexuality is not only skin deep, AnnaLynne tweeted a photo of herself without any makeup.