Jade Roper Opens Up About Sexual Assault, Lady Gaga Thanks Her
Jade Roper
Credit: ABC video still    

Jade Roper

Jade Roper Opens Up About Sexual Assault, Lady Gaga Thanks Her

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Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” at the Oscars 2016 inspired many women to come forward about their experience with sexual assault — including one of Bachelor Nation’s own.

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After watching the singer be joined onstage by rape survivors, Jade Roper was so moved she first posted about it on Instagram.

And then, taking many by surprise, she detailed her own harrowing experience on her blog.

“I've only shared my story with but a few, not even my family knows,” the Bachelor in Paradise alum writes. “But when I saw GaGa fill the whole room with emotion as she sang with conviction and urgency, as I saw survivors of sexual assault bravely stand up there showing the world that what happened to them does matter, tears streamed down my face.”

As Jade recounts, she was only 16 years old and attending a high school party when she was assaulted by some guys she and her friends knew.

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“I'm not going to go into detail, but I remember it getting late and I needed to be home for my curfew,” she explains. “I remember one guy holding me down while another got on top of me. I remember them driving me home and my parents were gone, driving around town looking for me. When my parents got home, my dad said he found me in my room on the floor in my underwear, mumbling to him I wasn't innocent anymore. I was a virgin.”

The now-29-year-old later contacted the men responsible but they “denied anything happened,” and she admits she was too afraid to tell her parents or the police.

She continues, “I was afraid of what they would think of me — or worse, that they wouldn't care at all. I convinced myself I must have deserved it. All the hurt and the anger I had towards the boys that assaulted me, I took out on myself. I destroyed myself with harmful words and internalized all my emotions.”

The newlywed says that, while she’s in a good place now, it’s been “a long road to healing,” and she’s hoping opening up will help others in similar situations.

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“I am not chained to this experience, it doesn't have to control my life. I am unafraid of the feedback anymore. This happened to me and it matters. I matter. And I am worthy of love.”

After sharing her story on Twitter, Lady Gaga herself responded to the post, and thanked her.