Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “I’m a Survivor of Sexual Assault”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
CREDIT: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW" by nrkbeta is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “I’m a Survivor of Sexual Assault”.

US Democratic politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said during an Instagram Live broadcast Monday night (February 1) that she is a survivor of sexual assault.

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The 31-year-old disclosed that she was a sexual assault survivor without going in detail as she spoke about last month’s Capitol riot. “I haven’t told many people that,” she said. “But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”

During the broadcast, she criticised Chip Roy, a Texas congressman, for demanding she apologises to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who she accused of deflecting blame for last month’s Capitol riot using “the tactics of abusers”.

“These are the tactics of abusers,” she said during the broadcast to 150,000 or so viewers. “Or rather, these are the tactics that abusers use.

“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.”

Throughout a more than one-hour broadcast, Ocasio-Cortez, who hid in the bathroom to get away from the rioters, shared distressing details about her experience on January 6.

“I quickly realised that I shouldn’t have gone into the bathroom. I should have locked myself in the closet. Then I heard they were trying to get into my office and I realised it was too late,” Ocasio-Cortez tearfully recounts. When she heard the screams “I thought it was all over, I thought I was going to die”.

She continued: “For so many people out there if you have experienced any sort of trauma, like 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.

“Or that, you know, those are additional traumas on top of what you’ve already experienced, right, if you’re a survivor of abuse, of neglect, of verbal abuse, of sexual assault, you know, et cetera, there’s the trauma of going through what you went through.

“And then there’s the trauma afterwards of people not believing you, or trying to publicly humiliate you, or trying to embarrass you.

“And that also gets internalised, too, because a lot of times you don’t want to believe it either.

“You don’t want to think that that happened to you. You don’t want to think that X person hurt you.

“You don’t want to admit that you were a person who has been abused, assaulted, et cetera, because you don’t want to be ‘a victim’, right?”

The storming of the Capitol complex left five people dead.

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