Gabrielle Union was forced to ''redefine'' her sense of community after being raped.

The 45-year-old actress has previously spoken about her experience with sexual assault after she claimed she was once raped at gunpoint whilst working her part-time job at a Payless store, and she has now revealed that the ordeal made her realise who her ''people'' were, as many of her close circle had no idea what she was dealing with in the aftermath or her attack.

She said: ''When I was raped at gunpoint, one of the most lonely and debilitating experiences of my life, I had to redefine what it meant to be a part of a community because my 'people' didn't have a ton of experience with rape survivors. So I had to expand my idea of what and who my people were. I needed a different kind of support. I needed different opportunities, opportunities to heal and then the ability to want to continue living.''

Gabrielle made the comments on Monday (09.04.18) night, as she was honoured at the 11th Annual Night of Opportunity Gala held in New York City for The Opportunity Network, a charity that works with students from underrepresented communities to help them achieve their college and career goals.

The 'Being Mary Jane' star praised the organisation for their work, as she believes it helps to give people a sense of ''direction'', which she is also trying to give people now that she's come out the other side of her hardships.

She said: ''I'm just trying to help steer other people in the right direction.

''You are right to feel that you haven't been given all the same opportunities as your peers or some of the other kids out there, but that doesn't mean that that's the end of the road for you.

''Through programs like the one we are celebrating here and so many others, we are recognising that. We're not going to sweep it under the rug, we're not going to turn a blind eye to it to just tell you to just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. We know that there's a lot more to it and we're going to try to address all of the issues.''