'Phoenix Rising' on HBO: What Is The Phoenix Act And When Was the Bill Passed?

Evan Rachel Wood has spoken out against Marilyn Manson in a new documentary titled Phoenix Rising, where she details her allegations that he groomed her as a teenager and was abusive in their relationship.

The HBO docuseries is split into two parts and will air on the channel over two nights on Tuesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 16.

It sees Wood and her family speak on her relationship with Manson (whose real name is Brian Warner), as well as other women who also claim the musician was abusive towards them.

Warner has denied all allegations made against him, and began a defamation lawsuit against Wood earlier this year.

Phoenix Rising also charts the part Wood played in creating and getting The Phoenix Act passed into law.

Newsweek has everything you need to know about the bill.

What Is The Phoenix Act?

The Phoenix Act was created by a non-profit organization created by Wood and a team of survivors to help stop the cycle of domestic violence.

The Phoenix Act aims to change legislation across the country and the survivor-led organization have previously described their mission as helping guide state legislators so the law "effectively addresses the needs of that state's survivor community."

In April 2019, Wood testified in front of the California State Senate to propose her bill, also titled The Phoenix Act.

The bill petitioned for the statute of limitations for sexual assault survivors to be extended from two to four years to 10 years when there is undeniable evidence the abuse occurred, or if there are three or more people accusing a single perpetrator.

Wood's proposed bill took into account the length of time it takes for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse to process their trauma, and also how long it may take a survivor to decide they want to take legal action against their alleged abuser without fear of retaliation.

In her 2019 testimony, Wood said the statue of limitations needed to be extended because "the fear of being judged by society is debilitating, and the fear of retaliation from my abuser is paralyzing."

She added that she wanted to help "create a cushion [for victims] to leave their dangerous situations, get the help they need, and come back from their trauma in order to pursue justice and stop serial abusers" through the Phoenix Act.

California Senator Susan Rubio sponsored the Phoenix Act and she sat with Wood when she gave her testimony.

When Was the Phoenix Act Passed Into Law?

The Phoenix Act was passed unanimously in the state of California and it was passed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 1, 2020.

While the Phoenix Act was passed into law, the statue of limitations was extended to five years, rather than Wood's initial proposition of 10 years.

The law also improves training requirements for police officers so they are better able to identify victims of domestic violence without causing them more harm.

In an interview with People, Wood said of the law after it was passed: "My goal in doing this was to make sure that what happened to me couldn't happen to anybody else, if they were in my situation.

"And to start a dialogue that we so desperately need, because it's a global epidemic, and it affects men and women and children.

"Bad things can happen to you, but you can rise out of the ashes. That is exactly why I named it the Phoenix Act. I do believe that you can come back from tragedy, sometimes even stronger than you were before."

Phoenix Rising Part 1 airs at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 15, and Part 2 airs on Wednesday, March 16.

Anyone seeking help should call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a free and confidential hotline available 24/7 that can be reached on 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. The Hotline also provides information on local resources. For more information visit https://www.thehotline.org/.

Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood in "Phoenix Rising," which airs on HBO on Tuesday, March 15. HBO

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