US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed that she is sexual assault survivor.
Ocasio-Cortez said this during an Instagram Live broadcast on Monday, Feb. 1 (US time), where she spoke about the trauma she experienced at US Capitol riot last month. The New York congresswoman made the statement to contextualize her experience during the pro-Trump insurrection, saying there were people in Congress who told her to “move on” from the riot.
She said that asking people to “move on” and even apologize after a traumatic experience are “the same tactics of abusers.”
“The reason I say this and the reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologize. These are the same tactics of abusers,” the Democratic congresswoman said.
Ocasio-Cortez added: “And I'm a survivor of sexual assault.”
“But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other. And so, whether you had a negligent or a neglectful parent, and—or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large—these episodes can compound on one another."
Ocasio-Cortez earlier said in an Instagram Live video that she feared for her life during the January 6 siege of the US Capitol.
“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense," she said, adding that many members of the US Congress were “nearly assassinated” during the insurrection.
During yesterday’s Instagram Live broadcast, Ocasio-Cortez detailed her experience during the riot, narrating that she had returned to her office after getting her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when she heard “huge, violent bangs” in the hallway and “then every door going into my office, like someone was trying to break the door down.” The congressman was hiding in the bathroom when she heard continuous banging on the walls, with a man yelling, “Where is she? Where is she?” There, she saw a man moving through her office.
“This was the moment I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
A Congress staff member eventually told her it was safe to emerge out of the bathroom. It was then she realized that the man was a police officer.
Ocasio-Cortez said the presence of the officer “didn’t feel right.” She said she thought the officer looked at her with “anger and hostility.”
She and her team moved out of her office and found shelter at California representative Katie Porter’s office.
Ocasio-Cortez said she expects to receive criticism after revealing that she was a sexual assault survivor as it was not connected to the riot.
“Those folks who are just trying to tell us to move on are just like pulling the page, they're using the same tactics of every other abuser who just tells you to move on,” she said. "That man who touched you inappropriately at work, telling you to move on. Are they going to believe you? Or the adult who, you know, if they hurt you when you were a child and you grow up and you confront them about it and they try to tell you that what happened never happened.”
Banner photo and thumbnail from AFP via Philstar.com