'The Bachelor' Star Jade Roper Shares Her Rape Story & Hopes To Inspire Others To Come Forward

One of my favorite Bachelor in Paradise stars may have found her happily ever after in Tanner Tolbert, but, long before that happened, she went through something truly horrifying. In a new post on her blog on Monday, Jade Roper revealed that she was raped as a teenager. She decided to tell her story after Lady Gaga's moving Oscars performance of "Til It Happens To You," and admitted that she wasn't surprised at all about the statistics that were shared during the performance about the frequency of sexual assault. Since this is something Jade has never talked about before, it's pretty shocking news, but the fact that she opened up about the experience now just proves her strength.

In her blog, Jade wrote that her assault happened in high school, when she was 16. "I remember one guy holding me down while another got on top of me," she said. The next morning, Jade said that she woke up in her bedroom, bruised and bloody. She wrote that she never told her parents or her family, but, instead, she internalizing her feelings. "I was afraid of what they would think of me — or worse, that they wouldn’t care at all," she wrote.

But, now, she's realized that, although she suffered in silence for a long time, she does have a voice and that she wants to speak up.

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. 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.

It can't have been easy for Jade to re-open these feelings and share them with the world, but, in doing so, she's reclaiming her story and helping so many other people at the same time. I always knew Jade was an amazingly brave woman, and this just proves it all over again.