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'Bachelor' contestant opens up about being a sexual assault survivor during date

"It screws up every ounce of you," Caelynn Miller-Keyes told "Bachelor" Colton Underwood.
'Bachelor' contestant has message for fellow survivors after sharing story of sexual assault
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/ Source: TODAY

Caelynn Miller-Keyes, contestant and Miss USA runner-up, opened up to “The Bachelor” about being a sexual assault survivor during an emotional conversation with the show’s star, Colton Underwood, whose virginity has been a key topic in the season.

Miller-Keyes revealed during Monday’s episode that she and two of her friends were drugged and raped at a fraternity party in 2014.

"They drugged our wine," she told Underwood. "I woke up the next morning completely naked in my bed and had no memory of the night before.”

She said she knew “something really bad happened” but it wasn’t until a friend called her later that she learned details about how they had been raped by men at the party.

She said the man who raped her had invited his fraternity brothers to watch as he took photos of her passed out, and then shared the pictures on Snapchat.

Miller-Keyes said she went to a hospital but was initially turned away and told she needed to file a police report first.

'Bachelor' contestant has message for fellow survivors after sharing story of sexual assault
Caelynn Miller-Keyes, during a lighter moment with Colton Underwood on "The Bachelor." ABC

Miller-Keyes, 23, has been open about being a rape survivor. She campaigned for policies to make it easier for college students to report sexual assault during her reign as Miss North Carolina and while competing in the 2018 Miss USA pageant.

But her story was unknown to Underwood until she shared details during their one-on-one date in Singapore.

"It's something that will always be a part of me and will always come up in relationships,” Miller-Keyes told him as she explained the lasting impact of the trauma she experienced.

"It's so painful and it screws up every ounce of you."

There are 321,500 victims, age 12 or older, of rape and sexual assault each year in the U.S., according to government data compiled by The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

She joins a number of high-profile women including Busy Philipps, Padma Lashki and others who are breaking their silence and talking about their trauma in the #MeToo era.

Colton then opened up about his own experiences dating a woman, his “first love,” who was sexually abused, saying it took an emotional toll on him.

Colton also opened up about his virginity, saying “everyone” asks him why he’s still a virgin at 27.

“They expect this simple answer. They want a reason. And my reason is complicated," he said.

After the episode aired Monday, Miller-Keyes took to Twitter to thank people who offered their support.

"And to all of the fellow survivors out there, I want you to know your voice matters and you deserve to be heard," she wrote.

If you were a victim of sexual assault, you can get confidential help 24/7 by calling 800-656-HOPE (4673) or online by visiting