Actress describes how she was raped at work to disprove victim blamers

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 17 October 2017 08:30
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Picture:(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

The actor Gabrielle Union has spoken publicly about an attack when she was 19, during which she says she was raped at gunpoint, and being asked 'what I had worn'.

The topic of victim blaming came up as part of the current global discussion about sexual assault, given greater prominence by the allegations made by multiple actors against the producer Harvey Weinstein.

In a series of posts to Twitter on Sunday, Union destroyed the lie that a woman's choice of clothes are ever to blame for a person raping her.

According to Mail Online, it later transpired that the attacker had been a former employee at another Payless, at which he had also raped another member of staff and robbed the store.

The attacker was handed down a 33 year sentence, and Union won a negligence lawsuit against Payless.

Her comments about choice of clothing, particularly the reference to dressing 'modestly', follows an opinion piece in the New York Times by Big Bang Theory actor Mayim Bialik.

I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise.

I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with.

I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.

Bialik has been criticised by some, for appearing to suggest that by dressing modestly and having an 'awkward, geeky' style, she had made 'self-protecting' choices and avoided sexual harassment in Hollywood.

In 2014 on an episode of The View, when Union first spoke publicly about the crime committed against her, she stated:

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.

HT Metro

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