Jade Roper realized during Lady Gaga’s powerful Oscars performance last weekend that she had an inner strength she never realized existed. When Lady Gaga went public about her sexual assault–something her own family didn’t even know about–Jade Roper decided she could do the same.
In her blog, the Bachelor alum penned the details of a night from back in high school–a night that has haunted her for years.
“I was raped just shy of my 17th birthday,” she writes. “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.”
— E! Online (@eonline) March 1, 2016
The next morning when Jade Roper woke up, she felt a mix of confusion and shame.
“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 many years Jade Roper experienced shame, self-hatred, and a weariness that deeply affected her–all while those around were clueless about her pain.
Following Lady Gaga’s Oscars performance of “Til It Happens to You” last Sunday night, Jade felt empowered.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) March 2, 2016
“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,” she writes. “And always always always: You matter.”
Kudos to both Lady Gaga and Jade Roper for going public about their sexual assaults in their respective ways. May they both continue to inspire others to come out of the darkness, too, and put the pieces of their lives back together again.