Rihanna’s controversial “Man Down” video has caused a stir and drawn the ire of parents’ groups who believe the violent video has no place on television.
However, the video’s release sparked an interesting admission from actress Gabrielle Union on Twitter. Union described her own sexual assault experience, as well as struggling with the desire to harm the man that had harmed her. Union’s tweets about the harrowing tale stopped short of encouraging violence, however:
‘Saw ‘Man Down’ by @rihanna. Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they’d like justice 2 be handed out.’
She went on to say: ‘During my rape I tried 2 shoot my rapist, bt I missed. Over the yrs I realized tht killin my rapist would’ve added insult 2 injury.
‘The DESIRE 2 kill someone whose abused/raped u is understandable, bt unless its self defence n the moment 2 save ur life, just ADDS 2 ur troubles.’
Union, who has advocated for rape victims in the past but never disclosed this aspect of her experience, answered questions about the incident and voiced support for Rihanna’s vision:
‘Stranger who robbed the store I worked at,’ she said, identifying her rapist. ‘He put his gun dwn durin the rape &asked me 2 [hand] it 2 him.’
Union went on to pledge her deepest support for Rihanna’s video: ‘Mandown video did a GREAT job of getting the ENTIRE world TALKING abt RAPE,’ she tweeted. ‘I hope that it leads 2 HEALING PREVENTS RAPE.’
Response to the admission on Twitter was generally positive.