Reading stories of sexual abuse online in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal has triggered actress
Gabrielle Union’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from her teenage rape.
The Bring It On star has been candid about her own assault for years in a bid to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to similar instances of violence, but she has been reminded that much more work needs to be done following the mounting allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Weinstein, whose decades of bad behavior was recently exposed in articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Actress Alyssa Milano launched her #MeToo Twitter campaign on Sunday (15Oct17) to further break the taboo surrounding the public discussion of sexual assault and harassment, encouraging fellow social media users to post their stories using the “#MeToo” hashtag.
The movement even inspired Ugly Betty star America Ferrera to open up about being molested at the age of nine, and Gabrielle admits reading so many candid tales online made her go “numb”.
“For 20 years I’ve been trying to tell my story as honestly as possible, and basically with the goal of never having to hear ‘me too’ (from another victim) ever again… so it was so wild the other night to see #MeToo trending (on social media),” she told Good Morning America.
“When I first saw it, my arm went numb… (from my) post traumatic stress syndrome from the rape,” she explained. “I saw ‘me too’ and my arm went numb. I thought it was all about me, and literally hundreds of thousands of people, men and women, (are) a part of this unfortunate club, and it just rips your heart out.”
Although the actress is saddened to hear how commonplace the problem has become, she is more determined than ever to continue her crusade to one day stamp out sexual abuse.
“I will continue to keep talking about it; I will continue to try to keep educating,” said Gabrielle, who turns 45 later this month (Oct17). “You see so much now with victim blaming and victim shaming, and really trying to put the onus on the victim and trying to say that there’s some right way to deal with trauma, and I just have to keep speaking out to dispel as many misconceptions as possible about sexual violence.”