Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Her Battle With PTSD 30 Years After Sexual Assault

The actress shared, in an Instagram post, what it feels like to be living with trauma for three decades.

Gabrielle Union attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City.

Gabrielle Union shared, in an Instagram post, what it feels like to be living with PTSD after being raped 30 years ago.

Photo by: Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Gabrielle Union was raped when she was 19 and she is still dealing with the effects of that traumatic experience 30 years later.

In a recent Instagram post, the actress shared a video, detailing her experiences living with PTSD for three decades after surviving sexual assault.

“As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years,” the 49-year-old actress wrote in her post. “Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy.”

“There’s times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life. Leaving the house or making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled light can fill me with terror,” she continued.

During the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic and social unrest in 2020, Union said her PTSD was “on 10.”

“The combination of a pandemic and this racial reckoning, alongside being inundated with (images of) the brutalization of Black bodies, has sent my PTSD into overdrive.”

“There’s just terror in my body,” she said in an interview with Women’s Health.

According to Vanity Fair, Union first opened up about her rape in her memoir titled “We’re Going to Need More Wine.” In her book, she shared how she was held at gunpoint and raped at the Payless shoe store where she worked by a man who attempted to rob the store.

The experience made her fearful to leave her house for a year and she avoided places where money was handled because she feared getting robbed.

In an interview with E! News, Union said one of the deciding factors to share her story was to let others know they were not alone.

"I have to keep talking out because people feel like they're the only ones. They feel like they are on an island by themselves; they feel like they are screaming into a hurricane and nobody is listening and I am just trying to say, 'I'm listening. I hear you. I've been there, and there is light at the end of the tunnel,’” she said.

The Bring It On actress also shared in a video for The Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign, obtained by E! News, that she’s “a PTSD survivor, thriver, bad ass, MF-er … I didn’t let it stop me.”

“I didn’t want it to define my whole life and it doesn’t have to. Asking for help, needing help doesn’t make you weak or less worthy of love or support or success. You can literally be anything you want to be… PTSD isn’t a death sentence,” she added.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE for support.

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