Katie Thurston is hoping that sharing her past experience with sexual assault will encourage others to come forward and do the same! After the most recent episode of The Bachelorette, the show's current star appeared on the podcast Talking It Out with Mike & Bryan, where she opened up about her vulnerable moment.
Thurston says she felt "comforted and supported" by the men
Thurston revealed that she had been "involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent" in the past while on a group date. While there was no pressure for her to open up as the focus was on their relationship history, Thurston said she found herself inspired by the men's vulnerability.
"Going into it, I didn't think I was ever going to share something like that," she told podcast hosts Mike Johnson and Brian Abasolo. She explained that she had "felt so comforted and supported in this safe circle," which made her feel okay with talking about her own past.
Thurston emphasizes importance of consent: "it's not your fault"
Thurston then talked about how it can be difficult to be emotionally vulnerable. "People do struggle with opening up and sharing their truth," she said. "I think it's just hard for people to start the conversation." She admitted that the incident caused her to have a "negative relationship" with sex for "at least five years afterwards."
The current "Bachelorette"— who's known for being sex-positive— also revealed she didn't tell her mom about being sexually assaulted until 10 years later. She shared that she wanted her to know before the episode aired, and said that after opening up they "both got emotional," mentioning that her mom shared a story of her own.
Thurston called it "so liberating to take this negative moment and make it such a positive," saying she hopes that her vulnerability will help spark conversation around consent. "We were taught that it was our fault," she explained. "It wasn't until later that you realize it's not your fault and consent is so important."