Gabrielle Union appeared on The View yesterday and spoke about the process of healing after being raped at gunpoint when she was 19. For her, the path to recovery came through vehemently rejecting the label of "victim" and embracing her status as a survivor.
"Being a victim is so comfortable," she said. "When something catastrophic happens in your life, everyone rallies around you. You're getting all of the attention and love and support that you've always wanted, but it's not for something positive. And I hated that. I hated feeling like a victim." She went on, "I was like, 'I want to embrace being a survivor, because 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."
Union worked at Payless at the time of her assault; she was raped by a former employee of another Payless, who had robbed the store and raped another employee. She told The View that her power returned when she sued the chain for negligence and went on to urge parents to look into the criminal history of businesses before allowing their children to work there.