In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Hough, 24, talked about starring as an abused woman alongside Josh Duhamel in the upcoming Safe Haven.
She also revealed some details about her life as a "tormented little kid" living and dancing in London on scholarship while her parents were back in the USA.
On her dance persona: "I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love."
On suffering abuse as a child: "While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything. ... I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody. What's past is past."
On the escalating abuse in London: It got worse "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."
On still feeling the effects: "You can kind of hear the quiver in my voice. ... This is the farthest I've ever gotten into (revealing) my London situation. ... I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can't go back. I have to be this person."