AnnaLynne McCord was afraid she would face more ''humiliation'' for speaking out about being abused.
The 'Dallas' star, who recently revealed she felt ''suicidal'' after being raped by a close friend when she 18 and was allegedly physically abused by her parents as a child, admits she was surprised to receive so much support because she was initially terrified of sharing her story.
The 26-year-old actress told PEOPLE.com: ''The support has been amazing. You think in your head that the opposite is going to happen. You think that you'll be shamed and there will be even more degradation, humiliation. And the opposite has been apparent. But what's even more important than that to me has been the outreach from survivors who are telling me their stories.''
The blonde beauty, who credits her 44-year-old boyfriend Dominic Purcell for teaching her ''to love myself,'' has written a new TV pilot based on her traumatic experiences.
She said: ''[It] has to do with a vigilante and going after rapists, so hopefully I'll be able to put that out there to the world.''
AnnaLynne is also set to speak at several universities across the US later this year, as she wants to help other survivors of abuse.
She said: ''I was in this state of denial and wasn't able to speak out until now. Eight years later, I'm finally at a place where I can talk about this and expose it, and hopefully show other survivors the support they need, because when we unite, we heal.''