Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, all of whom have suffered serious sexual assaults, joined Rani Hong, a survivor of slavery and child trafficking, at an event on Friday in Los Angeles, hosted by Malin and the Tronie Foundation, to celebrate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Pianist Chloe Flower, Hill Harper, Nestor Serrano and Ryan Devlin were among the celebrities who attended the event, where Malin, McCord, Feldman and Hong recounted their horrific events from their past to highlight the world’s ongoing problems with human trafficking and domestic violence.
Malin’s story of rape, imprisonment, and physical and mental torture at the hands of one sociopathic tormenter, and violent physical relationships for 11 years of her life, was incredibly compelling, and brought a powerful, real human face to the issues. ‘In my humble opinion, domestic violence is the worst plague on humanity and is the root cause of so many of our other social problems. Everyone in this room knows someone who is a survivor or a victim of domestic violence, only you just might not know it yet, and that’s because the shame-and-blame culture of our society makes most survivors of abuse too afraid or ashamed to come forward with their stories and get the help that they need. It takes most survivors many years before they can even process the atrocities that they have experienced, and then even longer before they are comfortable in a safe, physical and emotional space to share what they gave endured with somebody else.’
She reminded the audience that she was not alone, and that events like this continue every day around the world, in our own communities behind closed doors. (Her passionate address from the event can be found at her website.)
Hong, who co-founded the Tronie Foundation and is a special adviser to UN.GIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), was taken from her family at age seven and sold to a slave master. Her mental and physical condition was so poor by the time she was eight, she was sold into illegal adoption. She also shared her story at the event: like Malin, she gave a voice to the millions who were unable to.
McCord and Feldman also shared stories of sexual assault. McCord, who noted that she was always careful, recounts that she was sexually assaulted at home by someone she trusted. She has recently written and directed a short film, I Choose, about ‘a woman who chooses and a woman who doesn’t, because I’ve been both.’ (The film is embedded below, as our fourth video.) It was important for McCord to tell real-life stories, again to bring a human face to the massive problems of sexual assault. Feldman, meanwhile, notes that rape is Hollywood’s darkest secret, and that that had driven him to years of substance abuse, and that fellow actor Corey Haim was similarly a victim, having been raped at age 11.
They believe that people in the entertainment industry can help to eradicate human trafficking and domestic violence. Malin suggests that producers should, when filming abroad, do due diligence to ensure that they do not do business with those using slaves or people being paid a pittance. She also adds that audiences should see strong, female characters who have overcome great odds, including stories reflecting hers and Hong’s. Hollywood, she believes, has a unique opportunity to make real change.
The cycle of violence would never be broken, says Malin, if the film industry continues to reward Roman Polanski with Oscars after his admission of sexual assault, or if it continues to work with men such as Woody Allen, who has been accused by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual assault.
She and her husband Scott, who have a son, plan to adopt a daughter from the Los Angeles foster system who has been a victim of abuse, to show that ‘she will have the beautiful and amazing life she deserves, and that she will never go through the hell that I did.’—Jack Yan, Publisher
AnnaLynne McCord’s film, I Choose