Charisma Carpenter has gone from fighting demons on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" to facing ones from her own past.
The actress returns to Investigation Discovery on Wednesday night for the second season of "Surviving Evil," which sheds a light on the true stories of the brave men and women who stand up back against their attackers.
Season One opened with Charisma's own tale of survival from 1991, when she and a group of her friends were attacked by serial rapist Henry Hubbard Jr.
Two of her friends fought back and were shot in the process. Hubbard Jr. was shot in the scuffle and ran off -- but was later caught and sentenced to a 56-year prison sentence.
It's a story not many "Buffy" fans knew until the show's premiere last August and that was exactly Charisma's intention.
"I worked really hard to try to keep that personal story very private, I was very protective of the other survivors that I was with that night," Charisma tells toofab's Brian Particelli in a new interview. "It wasn't until this show was brought to my attention, that I decided to share my story in this way. In a way of empowerment and inspiration, not a sensational headline or tabloid story."
And telling her story on national television also meant it was time to talk about it with her own 11-year-old son, Donovan.
"I hadn't thought about discussing it with my son. It's not that I was avoiding it, but what's interesting about my son is that he came to me with it because somebody at school came to him with it," says Carpenter. "They had seen the episode and I remember thinking 'What parent let their kid watch Surviving Evil?' It's after bedtime, it's during the week and it's really not meant for that demographic. But we talked about it and I said, 'It can be a dangerous world and that's why mommy is very protective of you.'"
With reaction to the first season being "remarkably positive" in Charisma's words, she says her relationship with her fans has "gone to a whole other level" now, thanks to the series.
"When you share something personal and intense, people are less inclined to think of you as a celebrity and more of a human being," she adds.
Of the new episodes, the 44-year-old actress says they're "very empowering, it's a very positive show. It's frightening to learn some of the things that people can do to each other, but it's also really impressive to see how resilient these people are."
See for yourself when Season Two of "Surviving Evil" premieres Wednesday night on Investigation Discovery.
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