Bachelor alum Jade Roper shared a personal story on her blog on Monday, February 29, revealing that she was raped when she was a teen. The reality star, who recently married Tanner Tolbert in a star-studded wedding, took to her blog on Monday to discuss the Oscars, arguing that Lady Gaga's powerful, emotional performance of "Til It Happens to You" was the most important part of the 88th annual Academy Awards — and it inspired her to be frank about her own past.
"The sobering statistic [is] that 1 in 5 women will be sexually abused/assaulted by the time they graduate college, 1 in 20 for men," Roper, 29, wrote. "Tanner was surprised by these numbers. Sadly, I was not. I am a part of that statistic."
Roper then recalled her own traumatic experience from high school. "I was raped just shy of my 17th birthday,” the Denver native shared. "One night I was at a party with some friends and they ended up leaving without me. They shouldn’t have seemed worried, they left me with a group of guys we were all friends with. I remember going with them to one of the guys’ parents’ house, we had hung out in his basement with friends several times before, so it seemed perfectly normal. I’m not going to go into detail, but I remember it getting late and I needed to be home for my curfew. 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 reality star woke up the next morning in confusion. "I found my jeans with blood spots all the way down a pant leg, and I was bruised black and sore. I called one of the guys, he denied anything happened. The other guy I couldn’t even face, I was very close to him and was afraid to confront him with the truth," she shared. "I never opened up to my parents about what happened, I was afraid of what they would think of me— or worse, that they wouldn’t care at all."
For years, Roper grappled with anger, self-hatred and shame. "I convinced myself I must have deserved it. That this bad thing happened to me because of something I had done. That I wasn’t worth being loved," she wrote. "That I wasn’t worth having sex for the first time with someone who cared about me. 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. I became depressed, anxious, and self loathing. I contemplated hurting myself several times."
She is still coming to terms with the assault. "It has been a long road to healing for me. There’s still a long way to go," she wrote. "Sharing my story sheds a little more light in a very dark part inside of me. 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."
Roper concluded her post by explaining why she's choosing to share her story now. "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."
During the Oscars on Sunday, February 28, Gaga brought out a group of abuse survivors who courageously surrounded her on stage during the live telecast in L.A.'s Dolby Theatre. Since the singer's dynamic performance, several stars have come forward to share their personal stories about abuse, including Jaime King.
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