90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord was hosting the Love is Life benefit for the Somaly Mam Foundation when she opened up about her own history with sexual abuse.
While addressing the audience which included co-stars, Jessica Stroup, Matt Lanter, Shenae Grimes, Justin Deeley, and Ryan Eggold, she asked:
“Has anyone ever been raped? Sexually abused? Not said ‘no’ when you felt you didn’t have the right to? I know what it feels like.”
Afterwords McCord went into further detail about her comment with Us:
“I had a very similar experience to what these girls go through 20 times a night,” she said of the victimized young women and girls the foundation aims to help. “It happened to me once by somebody that I knew, and it is a very interesting thing to feel that you do not have the voice to say ‘no.’ It wasn’t an attack or anything like that — I just had no voice. I did not know how to say, ‘I don’t want this. Please do not do this to me.'”
“It was a situation where I found myself in my own home being hospitable, and that hospitality was taken advantage of at an extreme level. I did not have a voice, and now I do, and I’m practicing using my voice for others. Finally I can say I was taken advantage of — not from my own shame that I did something to deserve that — and now I can have a clear conscience.”
It turns out that this benefit wasn’t a one time thing for AnnaLynne. The work is a passion for her and she makes an annual trip during the holidays to Cambodia to do her part. About Somaly Mam via their official website:
The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern-day slavery and empowering its survivors as part of the solution.
Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. With over two million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year, it is a global crisis that must be stopped. More resources are critically needed to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these young victims.
Co-founded by sexual slavery survivor, Somaly Mam, the Foundation works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity. The Foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter, and rehabilitation programs in Southeast Asia, where the trafficking of women and girls, some as young as five, is widespread.
McCord’s 90210 co-star Shenae Grimes tweeted out her pride and support of McCord’s work, “so proud of my sister, AnnaLynne, for all her hard work with Somaly Mam over the years. Her dedication to this cause is incredible.”