Rachel Charlene Lewis
September 12, 2016 11:43 am
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Recently, Gabrielle Union opened up about everything that’s going down with regards to her upcoming film, The Birth of A Nation — specifically the rape allegations against Nate Parker, the film’s cowriter, director, and lead actor. The essay was extremely open and vulnerable, and in it she shared her own experiences with rape culture as a survivor of sexual violence. Now, according to Vulture, she recently responded to those who haven’t totally heard or understood what she had to say.

Union wants those who weren’t happy with her essay to know that she hears them.

“I decided I was going to use my celebrity, my platform, anytime anybody set a microphone in front of my face to talk about the horrors of sexual violence,” she wrote, “and what it does to your soul and to your psyche and to you sanity and to your family and relationships.”

Union knows that this isn’t an easy topic for anyone to talk about, so she went into it prepare for a lot of dissenting opinions.

But that doesn’t mean she’s going to change her mind.

“Five percent feels I threw Nate under the bus,” she wrote, “and 5 percent feels I’m a rape apologist. I strongly encourage those two 5 percents to talk to each other.”

Union is sticking to her opinions on this, and we don’t blame her. She was risking a lot by being so public not just about her thoughts, but her experiences, and we have major respect for her.

At the end of the day, though, Union is focused on making sure survivors feel validated.

“If there’s any message I can give to anyone who’s ever sat in my seat, it’s ‘You are not broken, you are not alone, you have a tremendous amount of support. Whether you speak out or you opt to keep your pain personal, you are real, you are valid, you are loved, and you are worthwhile.'”

More than anything, Gabrielle Union is here for fellow survivors and victims of sexual violence, and that’s truly so incredible. In a world where punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence is a rare event, community and validation is a huge step in the right direction.

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