The Bachelor's Caelynn Opens Up About Her College Rape: "My Focus Is On Survivors"

Photo: Courtesy of ABC Network.
On Monday's episode of The Bachelor, contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes reveals she is a rape survivor.
According to People, Miller-Keyes alleges in a conversation with suitor Colton Underwood that she was sexually assaulted four years ago, when she was a college student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
"I woke up the next morning and I was completely naked in my bed and I knew that something bad had happened," says Miller-Keyes on Monday's episode of the reality show.
Miller-Keyes claims that her friend said she saw one of the men having sex with an unconscious Miller-Keyes. She also claimed that, while she was passed out, these men pulled off her clothes and took photos of her.
Miller-Keyes told People that while she did eventually report the crime, the process was "a lot more difficult than people realize." She says she was turned away by the first hospital she went to in order to obtain a rape kit, and that by the time the second hospital processed a kit, the results were inconclusive.
Miller-Keyes told People that because of her report, one of the men in the group was expelled from school. However, she has chosen to forgive all of the men who assaulted her.
"My focus is on survivors," Miller-Keyes told People of her experience with sexual assault. "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."
This isn't the first time that Miller-Keyes has spoken out about her sexual assault. The pageant competitor, who was crowned Miss North Carolina USA in 2018, used her platform to improve Title IX policies for survivors by addressing policy change on the university level. According to the Miss USA website, she has spoken to high school and college students about the importance of consent.
Miller-Keyes previously opened up at a press conference in 2018 about the difficulty she experienced in reporting her rape.
"I didn’t know what you should do when you report, I didn’t know what my rights were, I didn’t know what the process was,” she said. "This is before the #MeToo movement really lit up, this is before the Time's Up movement... It was such a taboo topic."
Refinery29 has reached out to Miller-Keyes' college as well as ABC for additional comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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