Jade Roper has taken to Instagram in order to open up about the most personal and harrowing of experiences:
She was raped as a teenager.
The former reality star – who advanced to the final four on The Bachelor last year and who then appeared on Bachelor in Paradise – wrote Monday night that she was inspired to come forward after watching Lady Gaga’s performance at the 2016 Oscars.
In the telecast’s most moving moment, the artist sang “Til It Happens to You” while surrounded by victims of sexual assault.
“I’ve been trying for hours to think of what to say here, typing and back spacing,” Roper started her social media post by writing.
She then found the courage.
“To be honest, I’m terrified. Yet, this is something I felt was put on my heart to write and to share and after all these years allow myself to be free of something I felt had to hide.
“Lady GaGa’s performance was powerful and really moved me…Hopefully sharing my story can help others as much as it is helping me heal. Much love.”
Roper, who got married to Tanner Tolbert in a ceremony that aired on ABC this past Valentine’s Day, proceeded to offer a few details.
“I was raped just shy of my 17th birthday. My high school years were very hard for me, I had a lot of problems at home; and the way I tried to be normal and forget about my life was to party with my friends.”
“It has been a long road to healing for me. There’s still a long way to go. 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.”
Yes, you are, Jade.
Roper concluded as follows:
The Lady Gaga performance gave me the courage to speak about my story, a story that’s been trapped inside me for over 12 years. I hope that sharing my experience will help girls and women know that they are not alone.
And that you have to voice things in order for things to change. And always always always: You matter.