‘I am a survivor’: Actress Gabrielle Union Speaks On Surviving Being Raped...

‘I am a survivor’: Actress Gabrielle Union Speaks On Surviving Being Raped At 19 [WATCH]

By NY Daily News on February 26, 2014
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Gabrielle Union visits "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on January 7, 2014 in New York City.

Gabrielle Union refuses to consider herself a victim; she’s a survivor.

The actress opened up about about being raped as a teenager during her appearance on “The View” Tuesday, and how not thinking of herself as a victim helped her survive and heal.

The ordeal took place when Union was 19 and had been working at a shoe store when she and a co-worker were held up at gunpoint.

During her “View” interview, co-host Sherri Shepherd asked the actress how she came to the “epiphany” that helped her recover from the attack.

“I got sick of people letting me off the hook,” Union said. “Being a victim is so comfortable. People give you attention, people are nurturing … When something catastrophic happens in your life, everyone rallies around you. You’re getting all the attention and love and support that you always wanted. But it’s not for something positive, and I hated that.”
Gabrielle Union, left, and Dwyane Wade arrive at the 2013 Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party in September. The two became engaged in December.

Gabrielle Union, left, and Dwyane Wade arrive at the 2013 Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party in September. The two became engaged in December. (Photo Credit: JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION FOR ENTERTAINMENT WEEKL)

“I hated the cloak of victimhood,” she added. “I realized they were going to allow me to be a victim, and not succeed and not achieve my goals.”

“It makes you lazy, and I wanted that cloak of victimhood off,” Union continued. “I wanted to embrace being a survivor. That’s who I am. I wasn’t raised to be coddled. I was raised to be an independent woman, standing on my own two feet, and that’s the road I opted to take.”

Union, now 41, appeared on “The View” to talk about her hit BET show, “Being Mary Jane,” and also talked about her engagement to NBA Heat star Dywane Wade. The two became engaged in December, and Union discussed how her parents’ divorce after 30 years of marriage helped become a good stepmom to Wade’s children from his first marriage.

“I’m lucky that I come from a family that went through divorce,” Union said. “I’m sure there was bitterness and anger and resentment … but I don’t know, because they never made it our issue. They handled the divorce and our subsequent transition into a blended family with grace and dignity and respect.”

“I’m lucky I can just mirror what my parents did, and put the kids first,” Union added.

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