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Gabrielle Union shares her story of survival and overcoming rape

Actress Gabrielle Union attends the 63rd NBA All-Star Game 2014 at the Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Actress Gabrielle Union attends the 63rd NBA All-Star Game 2014 at the Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Actress Gabrielle Union has much to smile about these days. Not only is she starring in the new BET series “Being Mary Jane,” she is also planning a wedding to NBA star Dwayne Wade. But what Union is celebrating more is how she has taken back her “power” after being raped at the age of 19. In a detailed report by US Magazine on Feb. 25, Union recently opened up about the rape in appearance on “The View.”

The 41-year-old Union sat down with the co-hosts Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sherri Shepherd to talk about the horrific ordeal in which she was raped at gunpoint while working a summer job in a shoe store in California. She explains that although she received much support and attention after the incident, she hated the way it made her feel.

“I hated feeling like the victim. I hated the cloak of victimhood. I got sick of people letting me off the hook. Being a victim is so comfortable. It makes you lazy.”

It wasn’t until Union filed and won a negligence lawsuit against the shoe store after the incident, that she felt she regained her “power” as the independent woman she was raised to be. She took a negative moment in your young life and turned it into motivation as she went on to graduate from UCLA with a degree in sociology and then signed with the same modeling/acting agency where she interned.

As a woman who “wasn’t raised to be coddled,” Gabrielle Union has definitely become her own woman. By opening up to the hosts of “The View” and the audience, Union sent a message of empowerment to anyone out there who feel victimized in any situation. The power is always within when embattled with overcoming any challenge life presents.

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