‘Westworld’ star Evan Rachel Wood has testified before Congress in the United States about her experiences as the victim of violence and sexual assault, saying that she was “mentally and physically tortured”.

The 30 year old actor was one of three women giving evidence in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, a piece of legislation that she described as a “safety net that may help save someone's life”.

She told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Wednesday (February 28th) that, while with an ex-partner, she had been subjected to “toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse” which “altered the course of my life” and included “sick rituals of binding me up by my hands and feet”, after which she would be “beaten and told unspeakable things”.

Evan Rachel WoodEvan Rachel Wood testified before Congress this week

“My self-esteem and spirit were broken. I was deeply terrified and that fear lives with me to this day,” she said.

The Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act establishes statutory rights for survivors and has already been passed at federal level. However, it’s only been passed in nine states, and Wood and other campaigners want it to be applied in all 50.

More: Evan Rachel Wood reveals that she’s twice been the victim of sexual assault [archive]

“This bill is just one step in the right direction of setting the bar higher for what's right and what the standard will be that we set for society,” she told the committee, sitting alongside Amanda Nguyen, chief executive of civil rights organisation RISE, and Rebecca O'Connor, president of anti-sexual violence organisation RAINN.

Wood, known for her role as Dolores Abernathy in HBO’s ‘Westworld’, also told the subcommittee that what happened in the aftermath of sexual assault was “a huge part of the conversation that needs much more attention.”

“So often we speak of these assaults as no more than a few minutes of awfulness, but the scars last a lifetime. Even though these experiences happened a decade ago, I still struggle with the aftermath. Seven years after my rapes - plural - I was diagnosed with long-term PTSD, which I had been living with all that time without knowledge about my condition. I simply thought I was going crazy.”

More: Amy Schumer speaks about the sexual misconduct claims against her friend Aziz Ansari