Caelynn revealed that when she was a sophomore in college, she was drugged at a party alongside a number of her friends and raped as her rapist's fraternity brothers took photos of her naked body while she was unconscious. Her friends were also assaulted.
"I did everything I was supposed to do," she continued. "I went to the police the next day; I tried to get a rape kit done and was turned away by a hospital."
By the time she had a rape kit done by a second hospital, so much time had passed that the results were "inconclusive."
Colton was obviously supportive of her sharing the experience with him, telling her, she would always be safe with him, and alluding to his relationship with Olympian Aly Raisman, who was also sexually abused by USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar.
"I can't even imagine going through something like that. I know talking about it isn't easy. The fact that that happened to you is devastating," he added.
"It's a dark part of my history, but I'm not gonna let that diminish me or who I am," she told him.
Opening up to Colton about her traumatic experience was a "heavy decision," she told PEOPLE ahead of the episode airing.
"It's always a tough conversation," Caelynn explained. "In some ways it feels like it was a past life, and in situations like this where I'm having to relive it, it feels like it was yesterday."
The decision to share with Colton came from the connection she felt with him from the start, she explained, saying, "As soon as I met Colton, there was this immediate connection and safeness that he created. I truly have never felt so safe and so comfortable in a relationship. I knew that if it progressed and if my feelings continued to progress, it's something that he would need to know about. It's an important part of a relationship. He is such a genuine loving and kind person, and I felt that. And that's why I was able to open up in that way. I was really grateful how he handled it."
She also credited the Bachelor producers with respecting her during the process of telling Colton.
"The cameras were all kind of pushed back," she said. "I couldn't see them. It was just Colton and me. And that was so important. It allowed for that safe space that is so necessary. I felt very comfortable."
Caelynn is concerned now with helping other women who have experienced sexual assault.
"My focus is on survivors," she said. "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."0comments
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: Rick Rowell/ABC