Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke of her trauma in a moving video message, in which she accused Republicans who rejected blame for last month’s Capitol riots of using “the tactics of abusers”. She also recounted what it was like to have to hide in her office during the insurrection, and how she thought she was "going to die".
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” she said, reports the BBC. “And I haven’t told many people that in my life.”
The congresswoman didn’t share many further details about the assault, but said on Instagram Live that “when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other”.
AOC recounting her horrifying experience hiding in her office during the insurrection.
“I thought I was going to die...I have never been quieter in my entire life.” pic.twitter.com/t2P6FU3mFU
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) February 2, 2021
The 31-year-old criticised conservative Republicans, including Texas senator Ted Cruz, for denying any responsibility for the storming of the Capitol, during which five people died.
“These are the tactics of abusers,” she explained. "And so when I see this happen, how I feel, how I felt was: 'Not again.' I'm not going to let this happen again. I'm not going to let it happen to me again. I'm not going to let it happen to the other people who've been victimised by this situation again. And I'm not going to let this happen to our country. We're not going to let it happen."
She continued: “For so many people out there, if you have experienced any sort of trauma, just the fact of recognising that and admitting it is already a huge step.
“Especially in a world where people are constantly trying to tell you that you didn't experience what you experienced or that you're lying.”
She also described the horror she felt while hiding in the bathroom at her congressional office during the riot, saying: “I thought I was going to die... I have never been quieter in my entire life.”
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