Mena Suvari told how she survived the sexual abuse she suffered when she was 12 years old

The actress entered the world of modeling when she was around 13 years old. This approach to the environment and her family relationship placed her at a point of danger. (Getty Images North America/Stefanie Keenan)

the american star Mena Alexandra Suvari -remembered by its characters in american foot (1999), American Beauty (1999) years a lucky loser (2000)- told how he managed to survive the sexual abuse he suffered when he was only 12 years old and the problems that it triggered some time later, in addition, he was honest about the sexualization that he has experienced since the beginning of his artistic career.

The Rhode Island native gave an interview to The Guardian to talk about The Great Peace: A Memoirthe autobiographical book that he launched in mid-2021 where, as a catharsis, he wrote his experiences because he needed to externalize all those difficult moments that marked a before and after in his life.

It was bittersweet because it felt beautiful to feel seen and heard, but it was heartbreaking to hear others similarly identified. I didn’t want that for them, but overall I feel very proud. We live in the craziest times, the world is on fire, but at the same time things are much more open. I always hoped that [el libro] could help create some kind of change and start more conversations,” he said.

One of the hardest episodes he went through occurred when he was barely entering his teens, it was the sexual abuse he suffered from a friend of his older brother, AJ Suvari.

After the abuse, she moved in with her family so she could work as a model.  (FilmMagic/Rachel Luna)
After the abuse, she moved in with her family so she could work as a model. (FilmMagic/Rachel Luna)

I did not feel such a loss of sense of identity until I was 12 years old, when I was raped

The actress recalled that at that time she wanted to be part of a group -characteristic behavior of adolescence-, which is why she constantly struggled to be heard and involved. She unfortunately met a sexual abuser who started writing her love letters until he encouraged her to start her sexual life and then repeatedly abused her.

But that was not all, her sexual aggressor also spread rumors within her social circle to the point of calling her a ‘put*’: “That sucked the life out of me. I think that was just over-confirmation that no one was going to save me, no one was going to do anything for me.”.

The situation was complicated when he requested medical attention for a bladder infection derived from the sexual abuse he suffered, as he recalled that instead of receiving support, the doctor who treated her only gave her birth control pills. It should be remembered that at that time the actress was only 12 years old and no one investigated what was happening to her.

Her first love relationships were stormy, full of abuse and violence that finally led her to use drugs.  (Getty Images/Amanda Edwards)
Her first love relationships were stormy, full of abuse and violence that finally led her to use drugs. (Getty Images/Amanda Edwards)

I didn’t have anyone telling me, ‘That’s okay,’ ‘That person shouldn’t be with you.’

Just when she was trying to understand what had happened in her life, a modeling agency contacted her giving her her first opportunity in front of the cameras. Mena Suvari commented that from the beginning she was treated as an adult, because her physical characteristics were supposedly typical of an 18-year-old woman. Today she considers that this situation also affected her because she constantly heard that “sexy” and was always surrounded by older men.

What was communicated to me was that I was an adult, therefore I can act like an adult

One of them was a 30-year-old commercial consultant with whom she had an “affair” when she was only 16. This experience only led to her beginning a relationship years later with a lighting engineer who emotionally abused her and cornered her. causing him to look for a way out: drugs.

Her intention is not to criticize other people's sexuality, but she regrets that she did not have the opportunity to choose what to experiment with.  (Getty Images/Gabriel Olsen)
Her intention is not to criticize other people’s sexuality, but she regrets that she did not have the opportunity to choose what to experiment with. (Getty Images/Gabriel Olsen)

“I was not being loved. I was just a body, a receptacle for your wishes”, he wrote in his book.

But that was not all, during her “romance” she was forced to have sex with three people at the same time, who was her partner and another woman, something she definitely did not want to do but ended up agreeing because she did not know how to refuse.

“I have never wanted to speak negatively about things that can be very healthy for other people. They didn’t give me the option or the permission to do it, and that’s what was so destructive to me. It’s a very complicated thing when you experience sexual abuse, because part of it is… like, satisfying. But the other part is a real nightmare, so you are confused, you don’t know what is right. All of that still weighs on me because I never had the chance to discover myself that way.”, declared for The Guardian.

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