In an intense and moving conversation with Colton Underwood that will air on Monday’s episode of The Bachelor, contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes revealed that she and two of her friends were raped during a college party in 2014. “They drugged our wine,” she tells Colton. “I woke up the next morning and was completely naked in my bed, and had no memory of the night before.” Though she knew “something really bad happened,” it wasn’t until the next day that Caelynn learned from a friend that she and two others had been sexually assaulted by men at the party.
Though this is the first time a contestant has ever shared her story of past sexual abuse on The Bachelor, Caelynn has long been open about her experience: During her reign as Miss North Carolina and a contestant in Miss USA 2018, Caelynn campaigned for better Title IX policies for campus sexual assault survivors as part of her platform. In an interview with PEOPLE, Caelynn says speaking out about her experience helps her turn a terrible experience into something that can help others. “My focus is on survivors,” she tells PEOPLE. “I want to help other people who are hiding out and feel like their voices are restricted. I really am so much stronger now, in so many ways.”
After hearing Caelynn’s story, Colton told her that he once dated a survivor of sexual abuse. “For me, that was the hardest thing I ever had to watch,” he said. “Looking into her eyes and just knowing the pain associated with [her abuse].” Though he did not mention her by name on the show, in 2017 Colton dated Aly Raisman, an Olympic gymnast and one of the many athletes who were allegedly sexually abused by former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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