Gabrielle Union is used to making headlines with her husband NBA superstar Dwyane Wade. They are #CoupleGoals, but the 41-year-old actress is making headlines for something else recently.
Gabrielle Union opened up about being sexually assaulted at 19-years-old. She was raped at gunpoint while closing up at her summer job. Her attacker was a former employee of another Payless Shoe Source of which he has robbed and raped another employee. The man received 33 years in prison, but Gabrielle Union had some advice for parents and for victims.
She warned parents to check out criminal history before sending their children to work for companies. She also encouraged others not to wear the “victim hat.” “I hated feeling like a victim, it makes you lazy. I wanted to embrace being a survivor. I was raised to be an independent woman. That’s the road I decided to take.”
Gabby believed her power came back to her when she sued Payless Shoe Source for negligence and won. She also found strength in friends, family, and counselors. Gabby went on to earn a degree in sociology from the University of California. After interning at a model and talent agency she became the actress we know today.
It is important that successful Black celebrities talk about these difficult times to encourage others of the community who experience similar things. These communities must overcome the stigmas that come with receiving counseling and admitting you need help. Young women who have been victims of sexual assault can embrace their power and go on to do great things.