Gabrielle Union has been vocal about sexual violence for years, but one side effect of her advocacy is that she’s pretty much constantly triggered.
While promoting her book We’re Going to Need More Wine—where she writes about being raped at gunpoint at 19 years old—Union has heard countless stories of sexual assault from women at her book signings and events in the past year. She talked about the emotional toll in an interview for Redbook’s March cover.
“On my book tour, a lot of cities felt like a revival,” Union tells the mag. “There were so many disclosures of abuse during the Q&A portion of talks and during the book signing. Even as I was driving away people were flagging down my car in tears. I didn’t realize how big the need was for so many people to just get it out, to have someone look them in the eye and say, ‘I believe you.’ I cried a lot.”
Like other women similarly confronted with sexual assault through the news cycle, Union says she’s had to find a method of coping. “I Skyped a lot with my therapist, because the horrors that I was taking in triggered my PTSD,” she says. “But I feel a responsibility to offer that sense of safety and support. And luckily I have the means to help myself at the end of the night.”