Democratic congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has disclosed she is a survivor of sexual assault, and that the insurrection at the U.S Capitol on January 6 compounded her trauma.
In an Instagram Live on Tuesday, the 31-year-old gave a detailed account of what happened when the pro-Trump mob stormed the United States Capitol. She described how she hid in the bathroom in her office during the attack, reiterating that she thought she was going to die.
Ocasio-Cortez said as she hid behind a bathroom door, she heard banging on the walls and a man shouting “Where is she? Where is she?” as he came closer.
“I immediately realized I shouldn’t have gone into the bathroom. I should have gone in the closet,” she told her viewers. “Then I hear whoever was trying to get inside got into my office. I realize it’s too late.”
“This was the moment I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die.”
This was one of the most heartbreaking moments of AOC’s IG live pic.twitter.com/BumKbriwmy— grant 🧔🏻 (@urdadssidepiece) February 2, 2021
As a survivor of sexual assault, Ocasio-Cortez said the incident had rattled her deeply, compounding her already existing trauma. She also said that the Republicans who are telling her and other Democrats to move on from the events of January 6, are using the same tactics as abusers.
“They’re trying to tell us to move on without any accountability, without any truth-telling, or without confronting the extreme damage, loss of life, trauma,” she said during the livestream.
“The reason I say this, and the reason I’m getting emotional is because they told us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what happened, or even telling us to apologise. These are the tactics of abusers.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life.
“My story is not the only story, nor is it the central story, it’s one of many stories of what these people did in creating this environment.
“These 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 tells you to move on.”
My story isn’t the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened on Jan 6th.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2021
It is just one story of many of those whose lives were endangered at the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people who chose personal gain above democracy.
Ocasio-Cortez told her Instagram Live audience of more than 150,000 people that America cannot move on from the attack until those responsible are held accountable. She also doubled down on her calls for Republican senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign.
“These people remain a present danger…When given another window of political opportunity for themselves, even if they know that it means that it will endanger their colleagues, they will do it again.”