Courtesy Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors
Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Sharing Her Rape Story With the World: ”It Feels Terrifying”
Like many men and women in her position, Gabrielle Union‘s recent show of bravery has not gone unnoticed.
The Being Mary Jane star first labeled herself a rape survivor in 2014, revealing that she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint while working at a Payless ShoeSource as a teen. Also addressed in her new memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, Gabrielle’s remarks (and the ongoing scandal involving Harvey Weinstein) have helped embolden others in Hollywood to share their own stories of survival.
E! News spoke to Gabrielle at the Golden Heart Awards for God’s Love We Deliver, where she touched upon the importance of using her platform to help others cope.
“It’s been almost 25 years since I became a rape survivor,” she shared. “I’m not surprised. Rape is the most under-reported crime in the world.”
Union noted, “I have to keep talking out because people feel like they’re the only ones. They feel like are on an island by themselves; they feel like they are screaming into a hurricane and nobody is listening and I am just trying to say, ‘I’m listening. I hear you. I’ve been there, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.'”
The celeb described first writing about her rape as “homework” from her therapist. She explained, “I didn’t think anyone but my therapist was going to see it! It was therapeutic in writing it, but now that I am handing it over to the world it feels terrifying.”
But thanks to her candor, others have approached Union in solidarity.
“Every time I talk about being raped,” she told us, “someone will come up to me in a bathroom or an amusement park and say, ‘Me too.’ In that instant I am completely connected. I know everything and nothing all at once.”
Gabrielle continued, “What we are able to share is a sense of community of survivors and we are just doing our best, but that we put one foot in front of the other. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and that’s the importance of sharing the stories when you’re ready.”
For even more inspiration courtesy of Gabrielle, watch the E! News interview above!