'Talking It Out': Katie Thurston on Her Brave Decision to Share Her Nonconsensual Sexual Experience
Katie Thurston made an appearance on “Talking It Out” after Monday night’s emotional episode of “The Bachelorette.”
The third installment of Season 17 featured a group date hosted by Nick Viall, during which Katie and the Season 21 Bachelor asked contestants to make themselves vulnerable and detail difficult moments from their lives that have since inspired personal growth. The date ended with Katie bravely sharing her story of a nonconsensual sexual experience.
“Going into it, I didn’t think I was going to ever share something like that,” she told co-hosts Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo. “But after hearing these men really just open up and cry and share things that they never thought they would share, I just felt so comforted and supported in this safe circle and I just had to let them know my side, my story.”
Katie went on to say that the date felt liberating for everyone involved. “I just appreciated that they weren’t going to hide anything,” the franchise star said of her suitors. “You guys only saw a very small version of what we all talked about, but they were just laying it all out there. It was kind of this freeing moment, I think for a lot of them, saying, ‘This is the darkest thing about me or my past. This is who I am now. This is who I was then.’”
She elaborated, “It just shows that they’re not trying to fake anything, that they’re not trying to trick me or hide anything. They’re just like, ‘Take me as I am. Here’s everything.’”
While Katie never expected to open up about her past trauma in front of millions of viewers, she is happy share her story, as it might jump-start conversations about the importance of consent.
“That’s all I really hope with me sharing my story tonight, that men and women who have gone through similar experiences can start talking about something that they’ve gone through — or parents can talk to their kids about what consent is,” she said, “Because in this time when it happened, the #MeToo movement was not a thing yet. The whole thing about consent wasn’t really a thing. We were taught it was our fault.”
Katie added, “And it wasn’t until later that you realize it’s not your fault and consent is so important.”
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, help is available. For anonymous, confidential, free support 24/7, call @RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat at online at rainn.org.
Listen to the latest edition of “Talking It Out with Mike & Bryan” below.
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