Caelynn, who watched the moving episode surrounded by her close friends, took to Instagram shortly after it aired to remind fans that her story "is a common one." "For anyone out there who has suffered from sexual abuse or is still suffering from sexual abuse, please please please know: You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be safe. You are not alone. You are believed. There is hope. There is help," she said.
Caelynn, who was Miss North Carolina 2018, also spoke out on Tuesday morning, thanking fans for their support.
"I am overwhelmed right now. I am so grateful to Colton for not just listening, but hearing me. I am grateful to everyone at the Bachelor for allowing me to share my story in the way I wanted, and on my own terms. Most of all, I am truly grateful for everyone who has sent me messages telling me their stories of fear, bravery and strength," she wrote. "The world can be a really dark place sometimes, but these survivors who stand up and speak their truth, they remind me that there is good and light and that everything is not broken."
Colton, meanwhile, shared a photo of himself and Caelynn from after their date, writing, "There are moments that are bigger than the show itself... tonight’s episode has one of those moments. Please to be kind, respectful, and understanding to everyone involved."
Fans were quick to applaud Caelynn for bravely telling her story on Monday night's episode, with many praising The Bachelor for treading into #MeToo territory.
"I woke up the next morning and I was completely naked in my bed and had no memory of the night before... I just had a pit in the bottom of my stomach," Caelynn told Colton of her sexual assault, which occurred during her sophomore year of college. "[Two friends and I] were all sexually assaulted... not only did a guy come home and have sex with me, another guy, I was passed out on the couch from the drugs, and he said, 'Watch what I'm about to do.'... They laughed and took Snapchats. It was horrible."
The beauty queen continued, recalling being turned away from a hospital before she was able to get a rape kit at another one. "The men got away with it. One of them did get expelled, the rest of them did get away with it," she said. "It's the most difficult thing in the world. It's so painful. ... "It's like, a dark part of my history, but I'm not going to let that diminish me or who I am."
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below, and join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.
If you or someone you know would like to speak with someone who is trained to help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit https://www.rainn.org/