LOS ANGELES, May 29 (UPI) -- AnnaLynne McCord says she is "done staying quiet" about the sexual assault she experienced as a teen.
The 26-year-old 90210 and Dallas actress has penned an essay for Cosmopolitan that details her experience and the effect it had on her life. McCord kept the assault secret for many years, and says she came forward to "help other women who don't have a voice."
The star reveals she was raped by a male friend when she was eighteen. The two were in the same social circle, and he later confronted her and claimed the sex had been consensual. McCord says the assault led her to self-harm, and she seriously contemplated suicide later on in life.
"With some professional help, I started facing my past," the actress relates. "I forgave myself for not standing up for myself, and I began channeling my experience into something good."
McCord has worked with advocate Somaly Mam to rescue girls from sexual slavery in Southeast Asia. She visits shelters in Cambodia every year, and credits the young survivors with helping her heal.
"You have a voice," she tells her readers. "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," she concludes. "It has led me to my own revolution."