Why Lady GaGa’s Performance Was the Most Important Part of the Oscars

Everyone loves the Oscars. Tanner and I made a night out of it, got our snacks ready and sat down on the couch as the actors were making their entrances and being interviewed on the Red Carpet. When Lady GaGa approached one of the entertainment reporters, she spoke about her performance that would be happening later in the night. She continued on about her song “Til It Happens to You” and the sobering statistic that 1 in 5 women will be sexually abused/assaulted by the time they graduate college, 1 in 20 for men. Tanner was surprised by these numbers. Sadly, I was not. I am a part of that statistic.

As I am writing this, my heart is beating fast, hard against my chest, almost irregularly. I’ve only shared my story with but a few, not even my family knows. 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. Finally the message of “Do not tell me to act strong, do not tell me it will get better, do not pacify me. Until it happens to you, do not tell me how to feel or how to cope. And most importantly, do not try to make me feel insignificant. I am not invisible.” All things I thought I had to do. I have always had a fear of being a burden to people, of being too much.


The movie The Hunting Ground features stories of sexual assault in college, but I think high school can be just as dangerous. 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. Even though drinking seemed to make my problems go away temporarily, it was never the solution. 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 next morning was confusing. 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. 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. My family was really good at sweeping issues under the rug.


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. 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. I learned to bury everything so I could try and move on.


It has been a long road to healing for me. There’s still a long way to go. I didn’t watch The Hunting Ground, I don’t know the exact goal they had in mind creating the documentary. I do know the song embodies someone being told “hold your head up, pull it together, you’ll be fine” with the reply of “what the hell do you know, how could you know until it happens to you.” I felt this way, which is why I stayed silent. Now, which is exactly why I am writing this. If one of the causes behind this song was to give girls and women the courage to have a voice, they’ve succeeded. 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.

Join the discussion

  1. Jennifer

    I don’t have any words to say other than I am in awe of your bravery. May your courage to share your story help others find the light you have found in your beloved. You are so worthy of love and it seems you have found it. That is so wonderful. God Bless you both.

  2. Rey

    Thank you for sharing your story and being courageous about it…much respect!

  3. Kory Lynn Bjerke

    It must’ve taken a lot of courage for you to share this. You are definitely worthy of love, and I’m so sorry that something terrible such as that, happened to you. I’m sure it can be tramatic and extremely difficult to keep to yourself for all this time, but I’m sure this will reach out to and help a lot of people who are also holding it in, to afraid to say anything. There is always someone who cares! Glad everything is okay with you now!

  4. katherine

    Very proud of you for writing this, somewhat similar happened to me in the 80’s and sad to say upon further investigation within my peers and their parents, etc. it has always gone on just under another name. My mother’s neighborhood had the notorious “don’t be left alone with that guy…” – it’s always happened. Good for you for addressing it. When I told my family at 25 I thought the world would end and no one would love me, in a sense we’ve come a long way, now I just wish it would stop. Well spoken, and God bless.

  5. Jodie Newell

    Wow, Jade!!! Thank you for BEing YOU and for sharing your secret. Yes, you are worthy of being loved. Bravo to you for opening up and sharing more of who you are. I normally don’t reply to blogs but for you I felt compelled to. I too experienced sexual abuse, i was molested by an uncle and one of my older brothers, from age 4-8, at age 8 i stood up for myself and made it stop but never tols anyone. My family too was good at sweeping things under the rug. I buried it until I was 18, when the memories I tried to forget bubbled up within me. I told my mom, not expecting to be believed but I was. Several other female cousins said it happened to them too. As good as it was to stop that generational cycle of abuse, it took me a decade before I was able to face the feelings of shame, unworthiness, etc that I perceived I was because of the abuse experiences. Everything you wrote is exactly how I felt. So in my 30s I spoke about my experiences to many, so that they would know that sexual abuse/assault is an okay subject to talk about. When we change and grow, we affect everyone around us. Thank you for sharing!! I’ve never met you but I send lots of healing LOVE energy to you!!! Jodie

  6. Kim

    I’m so sorry this had to happen to you Jade. You’re words have touched me and I will share this with my daughter. GaGas performance was so moving and I’m sure so therapeutic for so many. Thank you.

  7. Melissa

    Beautiful! I could have written this story myself. Thank you for speaking up and being brave. You ARE worthy. It’s NOT your fault. Your truth is beautiful.

  8. Kayla

    I loved this article and I’m in tears over it. I wasn’t raped, but I was a victim of sexual abuse by my step brother at a very young age and it lasted through high school. Like you I destroyed myself with hurtful words and eventually I turned to food. I told my dad and mom but they didn’t believe and just swept it under the rug. I’m still dealing with those demons even at 29 yrs old, but reading this article has given me hope and courage to keep fighting it and knowing that I am not alone.

  9. Gail

    Thank you for your bravery. This should have never happened. I am so glad you have found true love and are finally healing with the support of your husband. Stay strong and stay brave!

    Best wishes to you!

  10. Matt Sheffield

    What an amazing person you are! You’re strength in having the courage to share your story will, without a doubt, help countless others. It seems odd, but the first time I saw you on television, I knew there was something special about you. Something different than the rest. I will forever be a fan of yours. Tanner is a fortunate man! Good luck in all your endeavors!

  11. Clara

    Love you so much Jade. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  12. johanne

    Wow what a message I was verbally abused all my life turned to alcohol to numb everything I used to wish I had been beaten as certain words trigger me. I have been sober 8 years now txs for sharing your story you are no longer alone. P.s. I used to work at the sexual assault and rape division in Toronto ad a civilian the medical reports were well u know. Stay strong.

  13. Amanda

    this is heartbreaking. thank you for sharing <3

  14. Harriet Berholtz

    Thanks so much for sharing the story , I am so sorry for what happened to you at such a young age and sadly I know the feelings that you’re describing all too well as I had just turned 17 when I was raped by a man that I trusted in Los Angeles. Seeing her performance and all of the survivors on stage made me break down crying, all of these people I see calling Kesha a liar or other horrible names saying she is just trying to negotiate more money from her contract makes me sick. I see comments like you can’t be raped if you really don’t want it or you were probably asking for it and it makes me sick. I didn’t tell anybody for over two years maybe longer and my family kind of swept it under the rug as well. I cope every day and I still suffer from anxiety and I have a hard time trusting people because of it but it does get better and as long as survivors continue to share their stories we cannot be silenced . You’re a beautiful strong and amazing person thank you so much again for sharing your story .

  15. Laurene

    I did watch the documentary and it is both scary and eye opening. Lady gaga is amazing and so are you for having the courage to share your story. You are an amazing roll model for teenage girls and you have an unbelievable message to share! I have a 15 year old daughter and I hope she finds a role model in you! You are beautiful in the outside and inside! Thanks for your open heart and your undeniable honesty!

  16. Maria

    Thanks for sharing. You are strong and you’ve overcome.

  17. Kyla schuster

    Jade, your an amazing person with an amazing heart I’m glad you shared this and this might have just saved many people

  18. Mimi

    Jade, thank you for sharing. Til this day, I am not able to share my story, but I hope one day I will. I am so glad you were able to fight through it and see your self worth and be the confident beautiful person I see on TV.

  19. Jamie Otis

    I have no words…thanks for sharing & inspiring. XOXO

  20. Elizabeth

    Thank you for this. It happened to me in college, friends I thought I trusted took something from me. I lost all of my friends because they said it was my fault. It took me finding my husband (and rekindling my relationship with Jesus) to realize that I am beautiful and I am worthy. Thank you for using your platform to speak to girls (and guys) about this issue. I wish you many years of happiness with your new husband!! You matter!

  21. Carolyn Dubeau

    I am so sorry you had to go through all of this. I already knew you were brave by the way you live with your social anxiety but this makes you an even stronger, even more wonderful and beautiful human being. I don’t know what could or should be said but all I can think to say is thank you. Thank you for being you and sharing your story. You are one in a million! Xo

  22. Caroline

    Thank you for sharing, Miss Jade. As a college student, this statistic really hit home. You are truly inspiring, very courageous of you to post.

  23. Kristie

    You are an amazing, beautiful, and strong woman and you are absolutely worthy of love…especially Tanner’s. Thank you for sharing your story. ♡♡♡

  24. Tina

    I’m so sorry u had to go through that, wish someone was there to hold u tight and say that u didn’t deserve any of that, and that due to what happened that doesn’t make any less worthy of getting everything the world has to offer and all the blessings. Ur awesome for sharing this, it will be a blessing to others and I hope that nobody ever tells them how to feel and just be there, steps to healing are different for every person.
    And glad to see u got ur happily ever after!

  25. Stefanie Sebranek

    Thank you for your story! I do know what you are going through because my father raped me several times as a teenager. But I thank you, because I know there are other people out there that have the same feelings as I do. I’m not alone! If someone hasn’t been through it, they can’t possibly understand it. Again, Thank you!

  26. Beth

    It happened to me too. I am openly a lesbian and had never been with a man. 4 1/2 years ago I was raped by someone that I worked with. I was 29 years old. Very few people know because it was too painful for me to talk about. I was drugged and have very little memory of the event itself but the next day and subsequent days I remember like they were yesterday. And I had to face him everyday for another 6 months at work while I tried to hide my pain. It temporarily broke me but I am stronger than one event. Thank you for sharing your story.

  27. KB

    Jade- your story is so similar to mine, except I was in my 20s. I was at a party with people I had known my whole life, even my cousin’s best friend (who was one of two that raped me). You really don’t see it coming and when they knock you unconscious you really really don’t. It’s a wound that won’t heal but you learn to live with. It’s never the victims fault. I know I’m worth love. That is the message we should send to women. No matter what, you are worth it. If we give them a voice, hopefully bad people will think twice about that bad action. And I’m raising my son to have respect like I never realized I should until after my assault. You’re stronger from this and I so admire you sharing. <3

  28. Kate

    This was absolutely amazing. Your not alone. Your so beautiful inside and out. You literally made my day with this precious message. I’m going through a similar situation and this helped me know that I don’t have to mask my issues and to have a voice because I’m not alone in this world. Thank you.

  29. Amanda

    Thank you for this post. Your bravery and vulnerability have just saved thousands of lives. Hugs to you, sweet lady.

  30. Natalie rackett

    Thank you for sharing your story
    It chilled me to my core as I too was raped I was 15 and it was s boy who was suppose to be a good friend of mine.
    I kept it secret from everyone until I found out 8 weeks later I was pregnant! He not only took my virginity he took away my choice and as hard as it was I had an abortion I couldn’t deal with everything at once. I did try to commit suicide several years later I finally spoke up told my family the truth as they thought I was pregnant by a one night stand ! 15 years later I’m married iv moved from England to Canada and I have 2 gorgeous boys I think about the baby and what could have been
    But I’m a much stronger person now. I never got the police involved I was scared no one would believe me as we were such good friends. But I found out years later he did the same thing and is now in custody I just wish I hope spoke up sooner and no one else would be hurt.

  31. Shelbey

    I’m currently a junior in college in Nebraska and was also left alone at a party when I was a sophomore in high school… I can relate! I still haven’t told any friends or family about the situation because I fear nobody believing me… Or being seen as someone who is damaged….which I feel would jeapardize relationships or friendships. It’s something that I’ve been dealing with internally for many years. It’s not easy and I admire people who have the courage to share their story! Thank you!

    • Stacey

      Shelbey, it is never too late to get help! You did nothing wrong and it is not your fault. Please talk to a counselor and tell your friends/family when/if you feel ready. Get the help you need, so you can start to heal. You will feel the weight lift off your shoulders. Please think about it. Sending you {{{hugs}}}

  32. Karla

    I have so much admiration for you. You are not alone. As I watched that beautiful musical number last night my mind wondered why is it so expected for sexual abuse survivors to stay silent? Our society should be doing the opposite, speaking out for those that are abused so that the abusers can be silenced. Thank you for being brave for yourself, for myself, and for the others who read this.

  33. Sophie K

    I was recently left after a party by my friends and was sexually assaulted while surrounded by a bunch of people at a Waffle House just shy of my 19th birthday. I always figured I’d be able to stand up for myself and call out my attackers but like Gaga says, till it happens to you… I just want to say that you sharing your story has not only made me cry but feel like I need to apologise to the 16 year old you and the you today for the stupid, disgusting, vile, cruel, men who did that to you. You matter too Jade and I hope you know that you inspire me for many reasons. I hope you have a wonderful life because you are a wonderful person who deserves the best of every second.

  34. Lynelle

    Your vulnerability is inspiring and you absolutely do matter. Thank you for sharing.

  35. Amber V

    You are a brave woman for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry that happened to you. You quickly became one of my favorites on the Bachelor and I am so happy you and Tanner found your forever ❤️ You matter Jade, you always will.

  36. Kayla

    God bless you Jade. I’m so sorry you had to go through that but now you can be a voice for so many.

  37. Taryn Gioffredi

    Thank you for this. I have struggled deeply. Not many people know. I took it out on partying, amd sometimes I still do. I don’t think I’ve fully healed from this experience, however telling your story gave me light that I’m not the only one and I am strong. I believe this experience has affected me with not letting people in my life. I have gone through a roller coaster of this. I appreciate and thank you for your courage. I will never forgive the people that was with me when this occured. “Family” issues get swept under the rug. I have appreciated your courage and strength that I love. Thank you! I might not get a response but I want to tell you that this song and your personal message brought me to tears. I appreciate your boldness and brave. We are strong and we are warriors.

  38. Jess

    Jade, thank you for being so brave to share your story. I know how hard it is to share such dark and private things as I’ve only recently started to talk about some struggles I’ve gone through and dealt with. I applaude you for being a voice to others who’ve gone through this. While I’ve never had to endure this exact thing, it terrifies me, and my heart absolutely breaks for anyone who has had to go through this. It also helps me to know its ok to talk about experiences or struggles. I think you are amazing, and I’m so happy for you to have gotten to the place where life has currently led you. Best wishes – perhaps I will see you around KC sometime. 😊

  39. Rebecca

    Thank you for sharing. It really means a lot that someone I look up too has been through something similar and isn’t afraid to share it. It gives me some confidence!

  40. Felicia Radke

    Thank you for being so brave to share your story. I wasn’t sexually abused but physically and emotionally abused. Abuse comes in all shapes and forms. Her song was very powerful….so powerful enough that it made you feel safe to share with all of us.

  41. Megan

    You are so strong. No one deserves this, keep your head up, because you deserve the world.

  42. christina

    Thank you for the incredible courage you just showed us. I finally spoke out 2 years ago about my uncle molesting me from the time I was 3 until I was almost 10. I am 37 this year
    … it has been one of the hardest yet most rewarding journey’s I’ve ever taken.

  43. Nathalie

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m a huge fan of yours and your courage inspires me. Thanks for being a wonderful person 😊

  44. Raffi

    thank you from the bottom of mine and many girls/women’s hearts for writing this. You’re going to inspire so many other women to feel open and unashamed of their stories. It’s a heartbreaking reality and the numbers are jaw dropping. One way or another it will come out, it was during the birth of my daughter that I realized how deep seeded the hurt was from my experience. Thank you.

  45. Sarah Vinca

    You are absolutely inspirational. I can’t imagine how much courage it took you to type this message, let alone think about typing it at all. Truly amazing. I hope that all of your days are filled with the love and peace that you deserve.

  46. Matthew Smith

    Thanks for sharing your story Jade! You should definitely check out the documentary, it’s very powerful.

  47. Susan

    Jade, you are very brave sharing your story in this forum. I was also assaulted when I was 16. I kept quiet. He went on to rape and molest many young girls and boys over the years. I felt an incredible amount of guilt. Had I spoken up back then, I could have saved all the others the hurt and pain. But I do know it was not my fault. Thank you for sharing your story. It is an important story to share. Sending hugs from Ajax Canada.

  48. Sylvia

    Thank you!

  49. Tammie Coates

    My sons friend was just assaulted. Two guys were involved assaulting him. He hasn’t gone to his parents. My heart is so heavy and I want to help this young man but I don’t know what to do. So pray for him. I encouraged my son to let him know that he has his back. I know my son feels bad and he was a friend to the guy that did the assaulting. Any advice?

  50. Nikki

    You are so strong to share your story with all of us! I guarantee this post has changed someone’s life and helped them to confront a dark piece of their history that has haunted them as well. I am so glad you know that you are loved and worthy of being loved, and what happened to you was never your fault. As a woman who has seen many of my loved ones go through similar experiences I just want you to know that you are loved and respected from even strangers for your kind and genuine heart. I hope you continue to share your story and open the door for many more to do the same. 😘

  51. Katie

    You are so strong and brave for posting this. I too am a survivor. We matter. ❤️

  52. Anna

    I can’t find the words to express how reading this made me feel so all I am going to say is thank you for sharing your story Jade <3
    You are such a beautiful soul.

  53. Chelsey

    Beautifully written. Having gone through a similar experience, your words truly resonate with me and it helps knowing that what I have suffered, along with countless other women, is not something that should remain in silence. The Lady Gaga performance was so touching and it is so good to hear that it wasn’t just me that was truly touched by the performance. Jade, I thank you for your words as they are deeply meaningful and powerful to anyone who has suffered.

  54. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong inspirational woman and have helped many others by sharing this. I pray that this post helps release some of the darkness from your past. This experience does not define you. So happy that you are now in a happy place. You deserve all the best.

  55. Sally

    Thank you for sharing. I wish I could hug you. I think people sharing can help other victims. Hopefully others will learn to be brave and step in to stop an assault. Again thank you for sharing.

  56. Victoria

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so important for women and girls, myself included to here these stories and to know we are not alone. I never told anyone about my sexual assault and I carry it with me every day. Hearing your story means a lot and it is a good reminder that we all matter.

  57. Anna

    Jade, I love your strength. I can’t find the words for what I want to express to you. I know you have so many fans, but really, I am a huge fan. I’ve loved you from the moment I “met” you when you first were on the Bachelor. You’ve always been so strong and your example has meant so much to so many. You are a beautiful, strong woman and I can’t wait to see what other great things you will do! 🙂

  58. Honz

    Jade, I have never experienced what you had but the statistic is true and could happen to anyone especially girls that are in our family, friends and to girls we cared about. I sincerely admire your spirit and It helped me realize so much about the different dark issues we face and encounter daily in this world. Thank you so much – you are a phenomenal inspiration to me. God bless you always.

  59. Sandra Lee

    Your story touched my heart. I too am a survivor of 15 years of sexual abuse. When I grew up I fulfilled a promise I made to God when I was 12. I wrote a book called “Father Forgive My Father” by Sandra Lee. You can fin at my web site

  60. Megan A

    Thank you. Strength. Courage. Heart. Vulnerability. Love. Worthiness. Mostly love though.

  61. Anne-Marie Zawadzki

    You are brave. Thank you for sharing your story.

  62. Jessica

    You are so brave for sharing your story. I hope it helps you heal. Sending good vibes your way!!!

  63. Caitlin

    This really struck a chord with me in so many ways. First of all, I am so proud of you and amazed at your bravery. You are helping so many by being so honest; hopefully you, first and foremost. I have the same kind of family, and just shy of my 16th birthday my boyfriend (who was older and more experienced) “got what he wanted”. Not having my father in my life for so many years I definitely also felt I somehow deserved it. Up to that point I had been so desperate for a boy’s attention and I felt I got what I’d been asking for. But it certainly wasn’t what I imagined. I remember crying silently, still, as he took advantage of my insecurities. I fought at first but realized quickly it wasn’t helping and it wasn’t going to work. It left me more broken than I was before. I only hated myself more from that point on. I was more broken, ugly & unlovable than ever. I still struggle with low confidence, anxiety and bouts of depression.

    In comes my husband. Who thankfully was my boyfriend right after that awful relationship. At 17 he respected that I was terrified. Guarded. Broken. I was able to tell him my truth and he honoured and respected me. He was gentle. Tender. Cautious. Respectful. I remember his parents being away for a weekend and I was at his house. It was an opportunity to be intimate, and I was beside myself with fear. He went out of his way to make it special. Rose petals were scattered in his room. Candles were lit. A romantic mixed tape (yes – tape) was playing. A note on the bed read “take off whatever you’re comfortable with and I’ll give you a massage”. He’d even bought scented oil. I didn’t know where he was. I stood paralyzed. Frozen. Fearful. I finally said his name. It came out as a broken whisper. I said, “I can’t do this”.

    He slowly came into the room and preceded to blow out every candle but one. And then we laid together, innocently, enjoying each others’ company. Nothing more.

    We didn’t last as a couple because we went separate ways for university, but 7 years later our paths crossed by chance in a local pub. We both entered alone. We were best friends for 2 years again before he kissed me at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    It’s incredible how a good man. A true, genuine, gentle, good hearted man can help a broken woman heal.

    I adored you in Chris’ season, and Tanner in Kaitlyn’s. I was glad things didn’t work out in your first go at the game, and immediately had so much faith in what you 2 have.

    Maybe I see myself in you. Maybe I see my Aidan in Tanner.

    We’ve been happily married for almost 6 years. The first time we got married was at a hospital. My mom was dying of cancer and he proposed. It was his idea to have a ceremony at the hospital, and she agreed. She was a single parent and I was an only child. She died a day later, knowing someone wonderful was going to take care of me. And has he ever!

    We’re now the proud parents to the most amazing 15 month old little boy and I am now healing even more as a mother. My childhood was hugely dysfunctional, and what a blessing to know my son won’t know the same. At 15 months you can see he is moved when he sees his Dad and I embrace. I don’t remember ever seeing a good example of love or affection. I’m healing and learning as I go.

    I’m sorry to ramble about ‘my story’ but you have inspired ME. Thank you for your bravery.

    I looked up to you so much before. Because of your class, inner (and outer) beauty, and steadfastness as a friend. I only admire you more, now.

    Thank you for making me feel I’m not alone.

    I don’t know if this is going to be public? If it is I apologize for my rambling…

    • Lala

      I came here to read Jade’d story and was absolutely moved by her words and the courage. Then I read your story and I was in tears because it resonates so much with my own experience and I think my SO is my Tanner too. Love to you and all survivors. We do matter.

  64. Ashley

    Hi Jade, my story is very similar except I was 15 and it was a stranger at a party. That experience still haunts me to this day and I hate him for taking that “first” away from me. I can still remember every single detail of that ight and I was ashamed to tell anyone. Unfortunately when I did finally tell my mother she told me I had put myself in that situation so esentially it was my fault. And sadly I believed that for years, and sadder still I did self harm. BUT eventually I realized it wasn’t my fault, it happened, and I couldn’t let it keep me from being happy and some semblance of normal. My scars remind me of what happened, but they also remind me that I am strong and I came out the other side stronger and wiser. Thanks so much for sharing your story, I know how hard that must have been.

    • Kim

      I have done some research and is our National hotline. They have warm wonderful counselors on staff 24/7.
      If interested in supporting our youth look into Erin Merryn. One woman on a mission to make every state teach prevention of sexual abuse, she needs women like you in her corner.
      All my best to you

  65. Jasmine

    Sending you so much love and respect, Jade. I am so sorry for the horrific thing that happened to you. Sharing your story was such a brave thing to do, and I hope that it helps you and others.

  66. Em


  67. Jil

    You are so brave to tell your story. God Will use that awful tragedy for good. Others will learn that you never leave your girlfriends behind, no matter how well you know the guys. Thank you for your strength. Your inner beauty shines thru !

  68. Holly

    Jade, thank you for sharing your beautiful heart. Your words are incredibly moving and I pray that through stories like yours we can change the staggering statistic of sexual abuse.

  69. Desiree DeWyse

    Jade, thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing woman! Sending you much love & gratitude for being you ❤️

  70. Ashley

    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this, I know it is hard to do. Too many people have gone through similar situations, there needs to be more education and communication as you so graciously shared.

  71. Jaime


  72. anonymous

    your story is very moving. I’d love to talk soon if you’d be willing, I think we might both benefit from telling our stories and to raise awareness.

  73. Terri

    You are incredibly brave, Jade. Like you, I am a statistic. Sadly, I continued to retell myself the story of my abuse–first as a victim and then as a survivor for nearly 30 years after the abuse ended. I struggled with loving myself and feeling worthy. I pray you find peace and forgiveness sooner than I did. Never question your self worth or whether you are loveable. You are. Period. You always have been. Thank you for telling your story. Be strong, beautiful lady. And know you’ve made a difference sharing your story.

  74. Stevie

    You are very brave. You are courageous to share your story. You are not a burden. Your strength to say the truth will be helpful to many victims. Quiet no longer. Thank you for sharing your story.

  75. Laura

    Thank you for sharing that with your fans. There are many more people who unfortunately have experienced this, I am one. I have a very similar story, mine happened on Boxing Day. I am lucky to have found someone who has accepted me because of it and he is the only person that I have ever really opened up and told about it. Thank you for sharing, I have so much respect for you for doing so. All the best to you and Tanner in the years to come. I love you guys. If there is any way I could talk to you, talk about what happened to me or to you, I would appreciate it. I need to tell someone and as I am 19 and look up to you for your strength for some reason I feel like I would want to talk to you about this if possible.

  76. Sami

    Praying for you to heal completely. You don’t have to be strong. Lean on God through it all. He will keep you standing. I don’t know what you believe, but that doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t believe God will always be there for you.

  77. Sarah

    Oh, Jade. I don’t know you, but as a fellow survivor (thriver) of sexual abuse and human being, I am so proud of you. It is so scary to let that darkness out. But once it’s out, it’s out! I like blogging and sharing because it’s like it takes this deep secret out of me, and places it in the world. It takes that power out of it and gives that control back to me. It’s not as scary to face once it’s out in the open. It’s no longer living in just me and you, and anyone else that bravely shares their stories. I’m so happy you see that you are worthy of love. You are more than just a survivor of rape, you are thriving. I went to college for human services and one of the things we talked about was surviving means you’re just barely getting by, but when you’re are truly living life with nothing holding you back. I’m so happy you have found someone to love you and be patient with the fears and baggage I know comes with being a victim. You deserve it. You are a sweet girl and so brave for sharing your story. It’s like a ripple effect. Lady Gaga started it and now you and probably many others will share their stories, which will inspire more to share their stories. We don’t have to be afraid anymore. We are all in this together. 💕

  78. Megan H.


    I watched the Bachelor for the first time on Chris’ season and you stood out to me as a role model throughout the show. I know it’s a TV show, but you were always real, honest, and self-aware of your feelings. You never let fear hold you back.

    This story proves what an amazing woman you are! I was not a victim of sexual assault and I don’t know how it must have felt to be in your shoes, but I do know the meaning of “Til it Happens to you” in a different sense.

    You are an inspiration to a lot of young women and I’m very happy for you that you have found an amazing Husband to share life’s experience with, for better or worse.

    Your fans love you! … and Pippa!

  79. Kailey


    Thank you so much for writing this today. I was raped at a fraternity party at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, and Lady Gaga’s performance will have a lasting impression on me as well. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I enjoyed watching you on The Bachelor and BIP, but after this article you are a role model to me. You didn’t let your story control you. You stayed positive and went out and had experiences that made you who you are. You showed me that you can overcome something like that. You found happiness when the happiness isn’t always easy to see. I know how hard it is to tell someone what happened, and I admire you so much for sharing your story. I’m sure there are many others out there who feel the same way. Thank you Jade. Thank you.

  80. Sophy

    Thank you for this, Jade! You have always been so inspiring to me, and this made me just love you even more. You have so much courage and strength, and you deserve all the love you could possibly get.

  81. Vanessa

    wow! In sorry that you went through that and I’m sorry that there are disgusting people in the world that would think that’s ok. Thank you for sharing your story! The more we talk about things like this the more people see they are not alone!!!

  82. Justine

    Thank you for sharing this Jade, so many women have been hurt and taken advantage up. We need each other help and support to carry on and know that we are important and loved.

  83. Carly

    You are so brave for sharing your story. Thank you, I’m so very sorry this happened to you.

  84. Lisa

    Thank you. Xo.

  85. Jana

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. No one deserves to be treated this way and the reality is this behavior has become almost acceptable in society. I know some young girls out there will be encouraged by your bravery to take a stand, a young man will make the right choice, and you will have changed lives. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and using your platform to make a difference.

  86. Melissa

    One person! That is all that needs to hear this and you have made a huge impact! Hugs to you for being so brave to share.

  87. Sophie Cargile

    Jade, this speaks to so many young women in this country who are abused not just sexually but verbally as well. The way that some young men view women these days is disgusting, and completely appalling.and I love that some one that I really look up to you as a girl in high school really understands what it feels like and this just really helped me realized that I am woth it, and that no one can tell me that I’m not good enough, that they can take advantage of me or anything. Because I am my own person and I control myself.

  88. Amy V

    Amazing how strong you have been! I truly admire people who are able to come out and tell a story like that and show girls/women everywhere that it is ok to say something. No one should silence you EVER no matter what the situation, girls/women need to speak up and believe in the power of truth and the voice they have to share. I am moved by your story and believe with you sharing it the effect will reach many women that need that little push to help them recover from a situation they can’t seem to talk about. The power of a song can touch so many, and being able speak out loud can move mountains. God bless u jade and may your story and telling it heal u. Beautifully written.

  89. Anonymous

    Just want you to know this is very brave of you and I am so proud. Your story will go on to help more people than you ever know. I was moved by the performance as well. I have never been raped, but through a really bad child hood and high school years, I felt the only way to have someone love me or even like me was to sleep with them. I am 48 years old and still struggle, being married for 29 years, I still struggle with depression and I tend to reach out for sexual pleasure to fill that void. I am getting better day by day and I am a survivor also.
    I hope your new beautiful life will continue to be blessed and you have a husband to love you through your story now. God Bless You Jade. I am a fan!!

  90. Gianna

    you are amazing. seriously. thank you.

  91. W

    Wow, Jade, I am so very sorry to hear this happened to you. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story, your vulnerabilities, and your heart with many who may need to hear it. I hope that your journey to healing will be marked by self love, compassion, and kindness. I am glad you also have a partner by your side to walk with you. You are a strong and amazing woman.

  92. Hayley besheer

    Hi jade! I’m the founder of an impactful intimates brand called MADI Apparel. We produce locally made, organic bamboo intimates. For all MADI Intimates sold, we donate a pair of underwear to a woman. We do this because underwear is the most under-donated item of clothing, specifically in sexual assault survivor kits Distributed to survivors in the hospital. In April we are donating all underwear from our buy 1 give 1 model to sexual assault clinics and collaborating with MOCSA during sexual assault awareness month to bring awareness to Kansas City. I’d love to have you to our storefront for some coffee and chat more if you’re interested in learning more! Would love to hear from you :)!

  93. Rachelle

    I am so sorry you had to go through that. And alone. It breaks my heart to think of people suffering in silence. Especially such a horrid thing that is definitely NOT your fault. You seem like such a happy, bubbly person. I’m so happy you have allowed yourself to be loved

  94. Karen

    Thank you for being so courageous in sharing your story. Your strength is going to help someone when they read this.

  95. Shelby


    I know you are going to get so many of these messages and I probably won’t get a response, but here it is anyway. You are a beautiful human being inside and out. Of course I don’t know you personally. But from watching bachelor in paradise and snapchat I can see how happy you are. I am so proud of you for getting to where you are now. You seem so happy with tanner and I am really happy for the both of you. You two deserved your happy ending. Thank you for sharing your story. I am not a victim myself but I know you have probably helped a lot of people tonight. I really do respect and admire you. I wish you the best in your marriage and in your (and pippa’s) life!

  96. Suzanne

    Thank you for sharing this. I literally just wrote a frighteningly similar blog post. We are both of the same feeling and conviction-the silence must stop and we must
    no longer let our lives, our self worth, our love, be ripped from us. We must drive out the darkness. Beautiful post. <3

  97. Juanita

    I am so proud of you Jade. As women we need to realize it is not our fault when we are abused whether sexually, physically or emotionally. I have had all three happen to me. It has taken me a very long time to come to terms with a lot of things that happened to me. I wish you peace and much love with Tanner. Be proud of who you are and know you are worthy and not defined by what happened to you.

  98. Monica

    What a courageous piece of writing. It was raw and poignant, and as a fellow victim/survivor of sexual assault – in a shockingly similar story – I always applaud those who are brave enough to share their experience. I identified with every emotion you shared, particularly the emotional wreckage that remains even after years have past and the boys likely have long forgotten what they did; you are most certainly not alone. For me, speaking at a Take Back The Night event in college started to change the way I viewed myself and my experience; I hope your act of bravery gives you that same relief and freedom. We all deserve to be untethered from our trauma. Again, thank you for your courage.

  99. Karen Straub

    I pray that telling your story will begin the healing process for you. Know that women cry in sorrow over the pain you suffered that night, and carried with you for so many years. I wish you all the best.

  100. Marisa

    Dearest Jade,

    Thank you for sharing your story. As another sexual assault survivor and now rape crisis counselor, I can’t begin explain how meaningful it is that you are publicly sharing your story. So often, these experiences are swept under the rug and/or belittled. Unfortunately, your experience is similar to my own and the experience of many of the women/girls who I speak with at my job. You speaking out is courageous and I’m sure will validate the experiences of many (including myself) and is also a beautiful reminder to victim/survivors of their value. Sharing stories and putting face to this issue is the core of prevention, and one of the most difficult and vulnerable things a person can do. You are a brave and beautiful in spirit. You are an inspiration. Thank you for reminding us all that this could happen to anyone, it is never the victim’s fault and there is no right way to cope or heal. I wish you all the best as you continue on this journey.

  101. Tanya Fuchs

    Your story is extremely moving. I have a friend that went through a very similar, and very violent, situation that almost ended her life. As much as I can imagine this is extremely hard for you to open up about, I think it’s so very admirable. My friend became a speaker for sexual assault awareness, sharing her story with highschool and college students, and it has helped her embrace her story and help others. You are such a strong and beautiful woman, and I’m sure others (especially fellow survivors) appreciate your strength and your story. Thanks for being such an amazing person!

  102. Christy Prasomsy

    Jade, you are such an amazing person! Your story got me so emotional. It’s horrific to hear about things like this happening to such innocent people. You are strong to share your story. I’ve been a fan of yours since chris’s season and you are such an inspiration to me. I’m glad you have Tanner in your life now. I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness.

  103. Michelle

    Youre story realy touched me, and had me in tears. I was molested as a child by a “trusting” relative. And the shame and guilt takes over youre whole life. No one, not even my loving husband knows my story, i guese the shame is too much. Thank you for sharing, you inspire me so much. Dont change for any one. Youre a HERO in every way.. Michelle #allthewayfromSouthAfrica

  104. Edda

    You are brave and strong for sharing your story

  105. Noël

    Thanks for sharing your story. The statistics are actually worse than that these days, 1 in 5 men and 1 in 3 women. It’s such a tragedy. But there is a God that is bigger than sexual abuse and can heal us. Restoration is for real and He is in the business of redemption.

  106. Sam

    Thank you for sharing this. I want to encourage you in the fact that although it seems scary to share something so big and dark, there is so much good that is going to come from your honesty! I’ve seen first hand what it’s like to be honest about this particular subject and let me tell you that you are making a difference in people’s lives whether you know it or not! You don’t know me but I’m so proud of you for stepping up and shining a light!

  107. Vicky

    Jade, I’m moved to tears knowing that you feel strong, free and loved enough to share your story.
    Your whole journey shows that you have created a life for yourself that is full of brightness; that you have taken your healing to another level. That you have taken yourself seriously. It speaks volumes of who you have become and of your purpose in life, and the person that you are and will be: as a woman, as a wife, a mother, daughter, sister, friend, and as a human being.
    I see you so in touch with yourself and your emotions -good or bad- (even through the screen of my cell phone), and that makes your message so powerful: you let yourself feel, you let yourself not be perfect, and you find the light in doing that. Kind of what the world needs right now.
    You have let someone love you for who you are, and I hope you find in him the support, the caring and understanding that you want.
    You could have taken the other route indefinitely… but you didn’t, and for that, I admire and respect you so much.
    What you are doing today by sharing this, will not only change your life, it will surely change the lives of others in so many positive ways that you will be amazed.
    Keep the brightness going!

    ps. and as I’m about to post this, I notice the name of your site… YOU picked that name, am i right?

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  109. Kim Davenport

    Sending hugs.

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  112. Syd

    Thank you. Thank you so much, Jade.

  113. Kirsten Mills

    You’re so brave for sharing. Hugs. It happened to me, too. A stranger broke into my apartment. We all matter.

  114. Kimberly

    Hi Jade first I will say that your story from the first time you were on the bachelor I followed and for some reason I liked you and you stood out… I knew there was more to you. Now I want to thank you for coming out with your story. It’s hard to live with secrets and even when you tell your story sometimes people still don’t understand and you face judgement and ridicule. I too went through a very similar situation just shy of my 18th birthday when I started college. I too was a virgin and was saving myself which this guy knew. Some people I told my story to didn’t believe me because of who it was and how I acted afterwards in my trying to cope phase. I hated myself and literally didn’t care if I died. Messed up relationships and abuse after that and now I too am married. My marriage isn’t perfect and this still affects my marriage at times and my life but I am happier and little by little trying to change my mind set on my heart, body, mind, and soul. I stand with you. I heard and watched lady gaga’s video a long time ago and I cried and wished people could just understand but like it says in the song you just won’t know unless it happens to you. Hugs to you Jade. Also my eldest daughter is named Jade so that’s another thing that drew me to u. Well I hope we can all heal and hopefully one day all this will end.

  115. Kate

    Hugs to you. Much courage to finally say the story trapped inside. How great you are to have changed your inner monologue. You matter. We all matter. Those who thing otherwise, they don’t.

  116. Melanie Cantelmo

    Wow. Your story is very similar to mine. I also didn’t tell my family and I was 18. I won’t go into detail because I don’t think it’s good for other survivors. I ended up getting an eating disorder – which thankfully I’m healed from. Tried killing myself so many times because of the pain. A lot of people don’t understand unless they have experienced it and the same feelings you felt, I felt. I ended up paying for my own counseling and went to a support ground. It really helped. I still struggle with anxiety and now I take medication which makes a big difference. But I feel like God has changed my life. I honestly still struggle even though it’s been 14 years now. It’s a scary world and I truly believe for those of us who have been raped or sexually assaulted we will have sexual issues but it can be worked through in a safe and healthy sexual relationship. Thanks for sharing. So proud of you. It’s a long journey. You’re not alone.

  117. Ruth George

    Jade, you are a brave, strong, courageous, and authentic woman. You are an unbreakable survivor! I applaud you for sharing your story. One can never really know the depth of pain and self-hatred and mental torment inflicted upon a victim “until it happens to you.” I know of the desire to be invisible, the belief that you are unlovable and that you deserved this, the realization that you alone are left to pick up the pieces, and most often direct all your pain and anger inward because you truly believe no one could ever love you if they knew. It took a long time for me to heal from my own abuse, and I know speaking out helps. Shame thrives in darkness, but light smothers shame. I thought I was vulnerable and weak, but Brene Brown helped me realize how truly strong I am. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.” “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” I am amazed at how far I have come as I have opened up and shared my story these last few years. I am so proud that I can now look myself in the mirror, see my imperfections, and can still honestly say I love myself. I am excited about all the amazing things I can do to make this world a better place, and to help others find their inner strength. Jade, you are one brave woman. I wish you the best, and i know you will be amazed as you continue to see yourself get stronger and stronger, and as you see your true potential and strength come to light, greater than you could ever have imagined. Much love from one survivor to another. #unbreakable.

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  120. Angela

    Jade, thank you. Every voice does help to give others theirs. I’m part of that statistic as well. In fact, our stories are very similar. I stand with you, a surviving sister. Not only surviving, but thriving. I too, have more work to do…. But I’ve also come a long way. I have more to say but I’ll have to come back to do so… Emotions are high right now. But I’ll leave with this: a simple, yet huge thank you to you… And Lady Gaga. <3 <3

  121. Deirdre Brownlow

    Jade, for the above, you are even more beautiful. The secrets we carry out of fear destroy us. May that dark space continue to fill with light.

  122. Charisse

    Thank you for sharing, opening up about this is very brave and vulnerable. I was also a victim of Sexual assault in high school and I also stayed quiet about it for years out of embarrassment and shame. We need more people like you – people who are prominent figures – to speak out. Maybe it can spare someone else the pain we experienced.

  123. Pingback: ‘Bachelor’ Alum Jade Roper Reveals Teenage Rape After Lady Gaga’s Powerful Oscars 2016 Performance – Us Weekly | Online News of The World

  124. Mindy

    Dear Jade:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It struck a huge chord with me as well. I wasn’t raped in High School or College, but by little brother and his best friend from the time I was nine till I was 14. My family doesn’t know and I have severed my relationship with my brother. I recently confronted him on the issue and his response was “don’t blame your ups and downs on me”. At that point I tried to take my life. The issue of rape and the ensuing issues of rage do not go away. I am now in my 50’s and it has taken it this long to seek help. My mother treats him like a golden child and I am invisible to my family. My mother is in her 80’s and would just be resentful and call me a liar. This has caused irrreputable damage to my life, career, and family. I am dealing with those issues and have finally found a man that I can trust, knows the story, and still loves me, even through my darkest hours. I am so thankful you shared your story and that Lady Gaga did that performance. I watched it with my husband as he held me while I cried. We are not worthless. We are not the animal. We are stronger than the majority of men and women. WE ARE SURVIVORS. Thank you Jade.

  125. lauren k

    thank you so much for sharing your story. this issue is close to my heart. i had several survivor friends standing up there with lady gaga during the performance and im so glad to see it has touched so many people. such a powerful moment. every time a survivor shares their story we become stronger! thank you jade!!! sending love.

  126. Kristy B.

    THANK YOU Jade for being so brave to share your story. This sadly happens to so many young women, when people in the public eye share their story, I think it may make somebody think twice before they won’t believe a young girl who says she was assaulted. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m so so sorry that happened to you. You are brave beyond measure for sharing this.

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  128. Leah

    Jade, I bet it was hard to actually make the decision to share this with everyone but I appreciate your bravery. I admire you very much for this. Many people after this will also be brave and know that speaking up is not bad.

    I’m happy that you found a man that truly loves you and will care for you at every moment.

  129. Noli

    Jade, thank for sharing. You don’t know how many people you have saved by sharing. You are likely woman God has given you a lovely husband. You’re a beacon to thought who don’t have voice. You matter

  130. Courtney

    From the moment I saw you for the first time on TV, I knew you were a strong woman. You had that vibe about you, the vibe that said you had something more than the other women. I never knew until today that the strength you showed me came from such a dark and terrible prison. I don’t know all that you went through or how you managed to live. I’ve never been there. All I know is that I’m a fan of you and I support you and I’m so proud of you for stepping out of the silence. I’m so sorry, not just that it happened to you but that you felt you had to hide it. I know Tanner is standing tall beside you. I know he must be so proud of your bravery. I know I am. I shall pray for continued strength for you and for courage to all of those out there who have stayed silent. Shine your light Jade! Shine it for the world to see.

  131. Amy Wilt

    You are so brave! I can only imagine how your heart must have been racing before you even started typing, just coming to grips with the fact that you MIGHT possibly be ready to share your story. I love that you don’t let it define you, but that you have acknowledged that it’s a piece of your story. And how sweet that you don’t have to go through this alone-how sweet that God gave you Tanner just in time for this Oscar’s performance that would pull on your heart strings. How sweet that He orchestrated the timing of all of this. I’m proud of you-of your bravery, of your willingness to share, of your ability to articulate without victimizing it, of your vulnerability, of your absolute trust that this would bless someone else being haunted by a similar darkness, of your willingness to re-live this moment that you probably wish you could just erase from your memory. You are brave. And I know that a weight is lifted, just in the telling of this trauma. But I pray that you will continue to feel a peace and a protection in the coming days, weeks, months! I am so PROUD of you!

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  133. Ali Odum

    This is yet another reason why I love you! This is something that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing your story! Stay strong, you rock! <3

  134. Survivor's Husband

    Much love to you, Jade. Just remember this isn’t you, this is just what happened to you, and your husband is there to love you for you, and help heal the rest.

  135. Mandy

    I was 17 and a freshman in college when a 23 year old grad student took advantage of me. I was drunk and I always thought it was my choice to put myself in that situation. It’s taken me a long time (and still hard for me) to accept it wasn’t my fault and that I was a victim. Thank you for sharing your story and being courageous.

  136. Sarah

    I lost my virginity that way too, but with an older man. My friends and I snuck out to go have drinks, and this was a man trusted because my friend babysat for him and her family knew him. Well, we were all drinking and my friends left in another room while he grabbed me to keep me by him. He held me down in his bed, put a pillow over my face, and when he took it away told me to keep quiet or he wouldn’t take it away next time. I was scared, didn’t know what to do. He took my innocence away and was twice my age. I was only 15. I was scared to tell my family, anyone, because of what they’d think of me. I blamed myself. I shouldn’t have been drinking. I shouldn’t have been stupid. My 2 friends were the only ones that knew, and none of us wanted to tell another soul. We didn’t want to get in trouble. It still haunts me to this day because how could someone do that? I told my mom years and years later and she cried and wished I had told her sooner so he could lay, same with my brother. I wish he could pay. But now I’m a strong woman who takes nothing from no one. That time still lingers in me, but it doesn’t hold me back anymore. I matter. I am strong. Thank you for sharing your story, Jade. You and Tanner are amazing, and I love you both together.

  137. Zoe

    jade – you’re amazing and never alone. look at all these comments you’re so loved!! I’m honestly speechless at how amazing you are, so strong and brave and beautiful!

  138. Taylor

    You’re amazing Jade. Thank you for putting your story out there for other girls and woman to see and be empowered by. You’re one of the best people (possibly the best) to be put in the spotlight from the bachelor, and it’s incredible that you are using the outlet the show gives to help others. Thank you!

  139. Joe

    So sorry that this is part of your story. If you have the courage to share the story to the world, I hope you also have the courage to go back and bring charges upon the two pieces of sub human filth who did this. Don’t let this become something they conveniently get away with and continue to live free lives. You can do it.

  140. Micha

    Thank you for sharing. I was 10 years old the first time it happened and I also thought my family would look the other way, and so I tried so hard to pretend it never happened and that everything was going to be okay. The news finally came out when I was 13, and my worst fear came to life; my parents and family took HIS side, and tried so hard to make me admit that I was ‘lying’. It takes a lifetime to even begin the healing process. I am now 20, and it is still a big part of me today. Thank you for finally sharing your story, healing starts when it finally exits out of you. XOXO.

  141. Andy

    I’m sorry that this happened to you! These guys are assholes and should go to jail for what they did to you. I pray that you will feel better and get stronger!
    Stay Strong
    Andy Marshall

  142. Pocohontas

    It happened to me too and I’m sad to admit it. And actually I’m not truly coming forward because i used a fake name to type this. Why am I ashamed and regretful of something someone did to me? Why do I feel like I am the one that needs to hide?

    I had gone to sleep in a spare bedroom downstairs after having one too many drinks at my friend Megan’s house. I woke up in a fog to a friend of my friend on top of me kissing me and he had unbuttoned my pants and before I could even register what was happening he stuck his penis in me. I started bawling immediately and my friend came into the room and I was on the floor and I don’t even know where he went. She told me that I got to choose when my first time was and that this “didn’t count”. She said that I had two choices – I could make go back into the main room where everyone could see me crying and would want to know what was wrong or I could get myself together and go back out and not say anything. I chose not to expose myself and what had happened. I didn’t talk about this for years. I didn’t start talking about this until 7 years later. I’m still healing after 3 years of opening up. The first person I told was a bartender in New York – and to hear him say “that’s not right” made me feel instantly better. I’ve slowly been telling my close friends and family, but I do not feel healed yet.

    I waited to have sex for 20 years before this night. I wasn’t waiting for marriage – I was just waiting for it to be with someone who felt “right”. I never got that moment, unfortunately, and it still makes me sad to this day. My first time was this.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you Jade. Thanks for opening up. Much love, godspeed.

  143. Lisa

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have a platform to make a positive impact on the lives of others and you are inspiring many with your courage. As someone who grew up an hour from you and essentially the same age as you, it breaks my heart to know that you and so many others have gone through this situation. I wonder how many of my friends have gone through similar experiences without the courage to share. I hope all who have been victims of assault can also find the courage to speak up so they may begin to heal and hopefully prevent this from happening to others. Blessings to you and Tanner from another small-town Western Nebraska girl.

  144. Stephie

    I’m a survivor too. I’m also a therapist. I’ve worked with teen girls that have told me the same sad story. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I can’t tell you how much good it does for other survivors. When I’m able to tell a teen girl the names of celebrity survivors who’s lived through what they have, they feel so much less alone. Thank you for making it less lonely. Thank you for being so brave.

  145. Jen

    I know you are getting hundreds of replies, but here is one more voice telling you thank you. You were and are worth love ans respect and you in no way deserved anything less.your voice matters, thank you for using it. <3

  146. Katie

    Jade, thank you so much for writing this. I’m so sorry for what you have gone through, and I wish I could say I haven’t gone through a similar experience, but I would be lying. Thank you for your strength, and your ability to make the rest of us not afraid to tell our stories. You’re amazing.

  147. Grace Nguyen

    I admire you for speaking up your past. This happened to me when I were very young too and I couldn’t forget it until now. I tried so hard to let it go but it’s not easy. I felt unloveable and unworthy so many times. But today I read your story and listen to ” Til it happens to you” that made me so relief and not alone anymore. You are beautiful inside out so you deserve everything for the best!

  148. Carmen

    Thank you Jade. These are the only words I can write that even begin to express how I feel after reading your post.

  149. Courtney

    Jade, there was always something really compelling about you, even through the produced/edited lens of national TV. You’re so courageous to share your story and even though I can’t personally relate, I felt myself on the verge of tears after reading this. You and Tanner seem to have an electric chemistry and I’m so happy for both of you and that you’ve found the love that you once didn’t think you deserved. He’s a cutie, but he’s lucky to have you 😉

  150. Cath

    Absolute Respect to you and all those in comments, for sharing.
    Makes me so mad that these criminals exist.

  151. Cici

    Thank you. It’s funny how many times, since reading your essay with an unnecessarily critical eye–as if disagreeing would make your story any less my story– that I though, “I matter.” I. Matter. Like the scene from Good Will Hunting, your essay unrelentingly repeated: “it’s not your fault.” To be honest, I don’t know if I like how it feels to truly acknowledge, even just to myself, that it happened, and it mattered, and I matter. I matter. I wish I’d always known that I mattered; maybe then I would have known it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t deserve it. Thank you. However many times you typed and backspaced, thank you for each stroke. It wasn’t my fault and I matter. You matter.

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  153. Jaclyn

    Jade I just want to say thank you for sharing. I am truly so sorry to hear of this story as I cannot even imagine the struggle you have gone through in your life to try and work through this alone. from the first time I met you I knew you were an incredible woman. I am so glad that Tanner came into your life so that you can see what you have deserved all of your life. I was a rape counselor in college and I hope I was able to give some of the woman that confided in me the knowledge that the abuse/assault said nothing about them, how they were acting, or what they were doing. Unfortunately there may always be abusers but I can only pray Lady Gaga’s song brings light to the act of talking about it so that we can stop shaming the abused and instead can open our arms to assist them on their road to recovering. Tons of love

  154. Elizabeth

    Jade. I watched you on the bachelor and BIP. You were strong from the beginning. You shared a secret with the world and pretty much said “this is me. Accept me for who I am or not at all”. I admire your strength to once again share a painful experience so publicly. I am part of the statistic but I am also so much more. I am an independent woman. I am now a mother and a wife. I was raped by a “friend” who was rich and i was afraid to report it. We must stand together and stand up against it. I admire your strength, courage, and resilience. You have become a role model for many. You will probably never know how many women and men your story may have helped. There could be someone reading your story and now has the strength to stand up against their attacker or now knows it’s not their fault. I blamed myself until I realized it wasn’t. Thank you for sharing. I wish you and Tanner many years of happiness.

  155. Kathy

    I’ve been following you since you were on Chris Soules season of the bachelor and I always thought there was more to you than the pretty face and the “playboy” model that the producers seemed to want to brand you as. You struck me as much more than all of that and whatever you had done in your past didn’t necessarily have to define you for the rest of your life. When you were on BIP, you seemed to be a different person, much more open and loving and you were the one who the other girls looked to for advice and comfort. I’m glad that you found your husband and that you two are happy. That in itself is a step out of the darkness of your past. Sharing your story is a giant leap out of the darkness. I hope that you can continue to move forward and forgive yourself for feeling like it was your fault. It wasn’t. Let your husband and your family and your fanbase help you put this dark chapter in your past, you have so much to live for and your new life is just opening up. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. God bless you and your husband.

  156. Andrea

    Thanks for your bravery I’m in tears as I’m reading this because I’m a survivor as well. Even though people have said I am beautiful I never felt it because I felt ashamed and worthless and unlove. I am now after all these years admitting on this blog that it happen to me and I know how it feels. now my healing starts. I am love I’m not worthless. To jade and all of the other survivors you are love and you’re not worthless. Blessings to all.

  157. Renee' McMillen

    I am so very sorry such a horrible violent thing happened to you. May your speaking out bring you some closure and peace. Love to you. -Renee’

  158. anon

    I never experienced being sexually assaulted. But I’ve been a victim of bullying and emotional abuse and this hit on everything that I’ve been feeling and finally allowed me to cry and feel it-and acknowledge it and take myself and my feelings about it seriously. Thank you.

  159. Kori


  160. Sienna

    You did nothing to deserve the violence but you are now doing something to raise awareness. You are an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and for helping to stop the cycle.

  161. Survivor

    Thank you Jade for your bravery. I’ve always felt we were put on this planet for a reason. Maybe yours was to find love on a reality show then use that platform to do what you just did. Look above at all the people who opened up. I have a story to tell too that I have never shared except with my husband and mom. Mine goes way back to childhood. It’s so far back in my memory I only have flashbacks and dreams. I’ve always been so afraid to talk about it that it would make me remember…and maybe I wasn’t meant to. Maybe it’s just too awful my brain is protecting me. When I was young I was so painfully shy and what must have been afterward displayed behaviors no one at that age should have. I know now why…this man in our family who snuck around taking advantage of a young girl every time she would visit…it’s strange how the brain protects us because it’s so unclear. I have deep anxiety about those memories coming back full force. As a teen/young adult I didn’t take the right path with the type of guys I chose. At 12 I lost all my hair (to alepecia) and the docs asked my parents if something traumatic had happened. They said no because they didn’t know. Do I hold some resentment about them not noticing, yes. But I don’t blame them. Luckily I’m happily married 26 years to someone who accepts me for who I am. I am now a teacher because I felt the draw to do something that might make a difference in a child’s life…be the person who is there if they need me. I feel like typing this is such a release even though it’s on a public blog. I felt like yours was the message I could reply to…maybe I felt the anonymity would be safe? But I feel like your story is similar in many ways yet different times and situations. I applaud you for making others and myself feel, through your bravery, to tell our own stories. You seem so strong and bright. Keep shining!

  162. lani

    thank you so much for sharing. you are courageous and inspiring!

  163. David

    Jade and Tanner. I was reading through the replies and couldn’t help but notice that most (all?) are by women. I just wanted to reply also; there are so many good men out there to support you and love you as you are, no matter what you’ve been through and what is to come. Tanner is one of those men; I am so glad you have found each other.

    Jade, I felt that you were something special from the beginning. Now we all see how strong and solid you are. No surprise. Keep living and loving. Your spirit carries you through…

    Congratulations on your life together. We are all so grateful that you have shared your stories with us. Love and blessings to you both.

  164. Kalia

    You’re a true inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Shows that you have such bravery and courage to open up about something so personal in your life! I can’t express how much your story opened my heart. I now know that I shouldn’t be afraid. I shouldn’t have it haunt me for the rest of my life. As dark and secret as it was, I’m so glad you opened up and took some weight off your shoulders. Can’t be happier to hear you say there’s now light in your those dark days! Lady Gaga also gave me the courage to share my story too. She opened up my heart as well and show me every voice does matter! Your voice and my voice matters Jade! We are strong woman who deserves to be heard!

  165. Hartiles

    Jade, so proud of you. You are making a huge difference. Breaking the silence and speaking honestly about these issues is the first step. Thank you!

  166. Tara

    As a female, this happening is a nightmare. It is the most violating act.

    I am so sorry this happened to you and hope the guys that did this suffer just as badly with guilt.

    I am happy you found love and found self worth…you do deserve to be loved. xo

  167. Cheryl

    I hope you feel all the love coming to you through these messages. You deserve it. You’re a beautiful person inside and out, and please don’t ever forget it. You’ve helped so many people with your openness and honesty. You also deserve all the happiness you’re now being showered with. Tanner knows quality when he sees it! May your life together bring boundless joy and love. Thank you for speaking up.

  168. Donna

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, it means so much to so many people including myself. A similar situation happened to me and my bestfriend our freshman year of highschool. We never said anything because we figured that it was our fault because we were drinking. I remember getting in a car with guys we thought were our friends and they took advantage of both of us and then kicked us out of their car on the side of the road. For so long I felt like it was our fault and to this day I’m so afraid to be with anyone. You sharing this makes me realize that it happens to a lot of people and it’s not okay and it’s certainly not our fault. I can’t thank you enough for being this brave and letting everyone know it’s okay to talk about it. I love you jade 💘

  169. Elizabeth

    Clearly your willingness to share your story has already done so much good! If you need resources in KC or want to get involved in advocacy (even behind the scenes), MOCSA is an amazing organization. As a former client, I can honestly say the services they provide are life changing.

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  172. Anna

    I’m so sorry this happened to you (and continues to happen to women across the globe). Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with us Jade and for being an inspiration to so many women out there. You are so much more than that experience. You are strong and beautiful and most definitely worthy and deserving of love. It’s been such a privilege to watch you find love with Tanner. I’m so happy you’ve found someone that fully understands you and loves you completely and allows you to open up about things that hurt you and are hard to talk about. You have so much support behind you, I’m sorry that you didn’t have it before.

    Lots of love,

  173. Salma Tabari

    Thank you for sharing your story, Jade. Every word in that song, every single word resinated with me. No one understands the complexity of emotions that run through you after something like that happens..

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  181. Kimberley

    Wow. I’m at a loss for words because this really hit home for me. So many similarities…I just want to tell you thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a voice of inspiration and courage. I hope one day I can be this strong because I would love to be able to share my story and help other victims. Seriously, this has helped me more than you’ll ever know. It’s hard because I haven’t opened up 100% because I don’t think anyone around me would understand. Reading this blog and the comments has helped reinforce that (unfortunately) I’m not alone. you’re kindred spirits who would just get me, and hopefully I’ll show this same strength one day! I just want to meet all of you and give you a big hug!! Again Jade, thank you!

  182. Ashley

    This has really helped me, it happened to me at college and I was drugged, I don’t remember most of it , but I didn’t speak out because it was a large frat, they later got kicked off because they had to many take cases….. I hope that one day I can share my story and someone won’t tell me it wasy fault cause I was drinking

  183. Veronica

    This is amazingly cool! (well not cool for obvi reasons, but powerfully cool). I was raped when I was 15 and molested at 5, I told my story to my mom and it was swept under the rug. I told her again two months ago, as well as my sister, and grandma, and still.. very little support. I think people assume because you’re doing “well” on the outside, that you’re just as strong on the inside. I started a blog called, and I planned on writing my story in October.. but I have been afraid. What if someone ‘finds me,’ and knows the truth. But this gives me SO much courage to let it be heard, it’s okay to be vulnerable (again), and I want to make sure anyone else in my shoes knows that even if their family didn’t help, there is a lot of support out there. Sending my love.

  184. Tasia

    Jade I have been a fan of yours since the first time I saw you on the Bachelor now I understand why I felt drawn to the type of person you were. I was raped at the age of 14 by my first ‘boyfriend’. I was so young an nieve that I didn’t even know what was happening to me. For a long time after I was ashamed of myself. I felt like I had done something wrong and because of that I didn’t tell anyone. I thought that I would be in more trouble. In the community I lived in, we were taught to wait to have sex till marriage and that any sexual relations outside of marriage made you a bad person. I was terrified of being looked at in my small community and having them judge me so in my young mind I had no choice but to stay silent. Little did I know the silence was killing me from the inside out. I began ditching school to avoid him, I began rebelling against the two people that loved me the most in this world, I was doing things that I shouldn’t have done, all in hopes of dealing with the unknown emotions I was feeling. I began to hate myself because in my mind I couldn’t understand why someone I felt close to would hurt me so badly and the only explanation I could come up with was that it was my fault. To this day I haven’t really spoken about it to anyone. I have had some really good relationships turn to hell because I don’t trust men. I can’t open my heart because of something that happened to me over ten years ago. Reading your story has helped me to realize that I am not alone. If someone who I have looked at as a strong person can be a survivor of this and come out so beautiful and find true love, that means there still is hope for me. Thank you Jade for sharing your story! I have known now for a while that what he did to me was not my fault but you helped me to know that there is hope! Thank you!

  185. Connie

    I didn’t watch the Oscars & never watch anything to do with sexual abuse. But I started reading your blog & cried thru Lady Gaga’s video. I can relate … OH so well. I too am a survivor, but more importantly I’m a child of God. I started therapy at the age of 5. I don’t remember if I really wanted to die the day the doctor sat me on the window seal in his office but I do know I wasn’t afraid to jump. He turned to my parents telling them I had serious problems. Through the years, I learned to say what the psychiatrist wanted to hear. In my teenage years I rebelled against family. I left home at 17 & had already been abused by 6 different men. I viewed sex as a punishment. Life after leaving home didn’t get much better. I moved in with a friend & finished high school. Then on to marriage. I was married for 10 years, then he did the same thing all the other men in my life had done. I gave up! Life was not a fairytale & my god hated me. I was hospitalized in 1989 for severe depression, anxiety & anorexia. I have to credit my therapist in the hospital for saving my life. With her guidance & my hard work I started changing. I wanted to live! I have learned … We are lovable, we do have a right to happiness, we do have one God, who loves us unconditionally. My friend & mentor told me several years ago “The WILL of GOD will never take you where the GRACE of GOD will not protect you.” Life after hospital, I married a wonderful man, havr raised 2 of my own children & helped with 4 stepchildren. We have 14 grandchildren & 1 great grandchild. I continued my education to become a nurse.

    • Connie

      Jade, you are a brave, kind strong young woman. Let your light shine so all can see. Never let negative thoughts take over your beautiful spirit. Keep shining! Connie

  186. Jacquelyn

    Jade, first of all I am so in awe of your bravery. I have so much respect for you. I can relate to almost every aspect of your story. I was in middle school/highschool when it happened to me. Reading your story made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I never got to choose the person I lost my virginity to. I never got to choose when it would happen. It was taken from me. I guess I am writing this to just say thank you. Thank you for making me feel less alone. I just turned 24 a few months ago and I still havent told many people about what happened. Your story has given me hope that one day I will feel worthy of love. I see how in love you are with Tanner and it makes me happy and hopeful that one day I can find those things because you have. ❤

  187. Dani

    I remember hearing about this post you wrote and meaning to read it. I felt the same way you did during Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance. Since then, I have had consistent feelings of wanting to share my own story. Now that I have in my own blog, it’s made me feel empowered and free, and it’s made me want to fight for all of us who go through this. I want us all to come out. I don’t want us to hide away anymore. If we do, it will never end. Thank you for posting this and for sharing your story.

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