Love In The Flesh’s Lauren on baby’s gender and vows to make world ‘safe’ after sharing sexual assault story

Love In The Flesh sparked a number of positive conversations when it aired on BBC iPlayer.

The dating show smashed a number of limitations that had been set by previous reality dating shows – with its diverse cast and honest approach to the modern dating world.

But, one scene on the show that was particularly thought-provoking was the moment we saw Lauren Kent become triggered by a sexual assault that had occurred years before.

Despite thinking she had dealt with what had happened to her, 27 year old Lauren found herself suffering a panic attack when she had a life jacket placed on her for a task to build a raft.



Love In The Flesh star Lauren Kent was seen breaking down in tears as she was triggered by a past sexual assault

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Speaking in a VT on the show, Lauren told viewers: “When I put that life jacket on I felt trapped. I felt literally on the brink of a panic attack because of something that happened two years ago.”

Lauren is then seen speaking to producers where she explained: “It’s because I got sexually assaulted and the chest… I got held down and it just started a flashback.”

Now, in an exclusive interview with OK!Lauren explains why she decided to share her story in the hope to create a better world going forward.

Recalling the moment she started to suffer with a panic attack, she reveals: “I started getting flashbacks. So that was when I felt like, ‘Oh, I really want to just rip off this life jacket’.”



Lauren began to suffer a panic attack when asked to wear a life jacket for a raft building task and asked to speak to producers
Lauren began to suffer a panic attack when asked to wear a life jacket for a raft building task and asked to speak to producers

The reality star, who is now pregnant, explains how her sexual assault “wasn’t a well known thing” as she thought she’d “processed it”.

“I’ve had lots of like therapy, and I’ve done my own work,” Lauren says. “But I guess there was just that was a day where it just caught me right off guard.”

Lauren’s difficulty soon caught the eye of the executive producer, who called her over and talked to her.

“They took me aside. I was there for about 40 minutes with welfare. BBC did an amazing job,” she says.



Lauren decided to take on the task after speaking with the welfare team
Lauren decided to take on the task after speaking with the welfare team

Lauren was given support from the welfare team and decided not only to continue with the raft building task but, also, share with the viewers what had happened to help with her healing process and other’s, too.

“I pretended it didn’t happen and tried to just move on,” she says. “It like became something that actually broke me. It was like a parasite. Instead of dealing with it and accepting it, because unfortunately you do sometimes have to just accept that did happen.”

Lauren adds: “In accepting it and getting a release out about it actually helped me and my mental health a lot more. And I think that’s the biggest message that I wanted to put across to other people.”

She worked with the BBC on how her story would be shown and was given guidance from the welfare team throughout the process.



Lauren decided to open up about her healing process on the show in a candid conversation
Lauren decided to open up about her healing process on the show in a candid conversation

Lauren says the welfare team were “so refreshing” and adds: “I think that gave a building block for me to feel confident to release the episode.”

After the episode aired, Lauren has received wide praise from viewers.

“The response that I got through my DMs and stuff… A lot of people were coming to me and saying, ‘Seeing you have courage to talk about your experience has given me courage to now come forward’.” And I think that’s the most important thing.”

Not only did Lauren want to share her healing process with BBC viewers for them to speak out, but she wanted to start the conversation to make a better world for her unborn child, which Lauren reveals is a baby girl!



Lauren announced her pregnancy joy days after the reality show ended
Lauren announced her pregnancy joy days after the reality show ended



Lauren is now expecting a baby girl and wants to create a safe space for her daughter
Lauren is now expecting a baby girl and wants to create a safe space for her daughter

“I’m having a daughter,” she gushes to OK!. “And the thought of bringing her into a world… I want to give her a safe and happy place and a world for women. I just don’t want to ever see her go through anything that I have.”

Lauren adds: “It’s happened to so many girls and I was like: ‘Right I want to make a difference and if I can then I’ll use my voice like that’s it, there’s no bottom line.”

Now, after sharing her story, Lauren praises to BBC for their support from the welfare team and producers.



Pregnant Lauren wants to continue to have difficult conversations as she urges: "Our voices aren't made to be comfortable"
Pregnant Lauren wants to continue to have difficult conversations as she urges: “Our voices aren’t made to be comfortable”

“The]BBC really played a very, very, very important role in this coming out in such a sensitive like, soft manner,” she says. “The fact it wasn’t traumatic dumping and was more to do with the healing side… I was grateful for them.”

And she hopes to continue to have what can sometimes be uncomfortable conversations to contribute to the way society deals with such issues.

“Societal changes aren’t going to happen overnight, it is years in the making,” she says. “And it is getting better.”



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Lauren adds: “I think men need to be held accountable a lot more. I think too many times some of my male friends have seen some suspicious activity on nights out and they don’t say anything to their mates.

“It’s like, ‘oh nah, we’ll just leave that, like it wasn’t worth the argument’. I’m like: ‘It is worth the argument’.”

“So I actually myself, if there is something problematic that comes up, whether it’s from family, friends, men, women I just pull them up on it.

“Our voices aren’t made to be comfortable. We’re taught that as women that they are but they’re not.”

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