Evan Rachel Wood wanted to change domestic violence legislation to help other survivors.

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood

The 32-year-old star was just 18 when she was starved, cut off from friends and family and even tied by her hands and feet during an abusive relationship, but when she eventually took evidence to an attorney, she was told the statute of limitations had expired - which she doesn't want to happen to anyone else.

She told People magazine: "My goal in doing this was to make sure that what happened to me couldn't happen to anybody else, if they were in my situation.

"And to start a dialogue that we so desperately need, because it's a global epidemic, and it affects men and women and children.

"Bad things can happen to you, but you can rise out of the ashes. That is exactly why I named it the Phoenix Act. I do believe that you can come back from tragedy, sometimes even stronger than you were before."

Earlier this week, the bill - which Evan drafted with lawmakers, legislators and other survivors - was signed in the US which extends the time victims have to come forward about domestic violence to get justice.

She was motivated to force a change in the world after her own experience when she realised the law didn't "sound right".

She added: "I said, 'That doesn't sound right. Something's wrong, what are my options?' They said, 'Well, you can try to change the law.' "

Earlier this year, the 'Westworld' actress - who was raped by a former partner twice when she was younger and was sexually assaulted by a bar owner - explained she wants to open up about to help other people realise they're not alone.

She said: "I'm saddened by the circumstances that brought me here. I wish that wasn't my story. I don't like that that's my story, but if my truth can move progress forward, I feel like now is the time to share that truth, even if it's ugly."

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