In an emotional essay published by People on Wednesday (January 10th), Law & Order actor Mariska Hargitay revealed that she was raped in her 30s by someone she thought was a friend.

"It wasn’t sexual at all. It was dominance and control. Overpowering control," she wrote. "He was a friend. Then he wasn’t. I tried all the ways I knew to get out of it. I tried to make jokes, to be charming, to set a boundary, to reason, to say no. He grabbed me by the arms and held me down. I was terrified."

"I didn’t want it to escalate to violence. I now know it was already sexual violence, but I was afraid he would become physically violent," she wrote, explaining that she went into “freeze mode,” which is a physiological response to trauma. "I checked out of my body," the ER actor said.

“Trauma fractures our mind and our memory,” Hargitay added. “I said for a long time that my hope was for people to be able to talk about sexual assault the same way they now talk about cancer. Tell someone you’ve survived cancer, and you’re celebrated. I want the same response for sexual assault survivors. I want no shame with the victim. The shame of the act belongs with the perpetrator: they’re the ones who committed the heinous, shameful act.”