AOC says she’s a survivor of sexual assault while speaking on Capitol riots

She likened telling a trauma survivor to move on without providing accountability as 'the same tactics of abusers.'

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New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault Monday during an Instagram Live chat in which she chronicled what happened during the Jan. 6 siege attempt at the Capitol Building.

It appears to be the first time Ocasio-Cortez has referenced the event, and she made the comment in providing context about the trauma she and other lawmakers experienced while the insurrection was taking place.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez AOC
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) addresses supporters during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on March 8, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ocasio-Cortez has become a Democratic Party favorite among millennials and Gen Z. Sanders covered his policy agendas for immigration, women’s rights, healthcare and economic inequality. (Photo by Brittany Greeson/Getty Images)

“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And, um, I’m a survivor of sexual assault.”

She noted that many GOP congressmen have used directives like “move on” related to the insurrection. Ocasio-Cortez likened telling a trauma survivor to move on without providing accountability as “the same tactics of abusers.”

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“And I haven’t told many people that in my life. 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.”

The Instagram Live broadcast lasted more than an hour, and Ocasio-Cortez shared that on Jan. 6, a Capitol Police officer came into her office shouting, “Where is she?” She recounted how she hid in terror as the officer failed to identify himself. Ocasio-Cortez said she thought she was going to die.

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Eventually, a staffer confirmed the officer’s identity, and he told them to head to another building; however, Ocasio-Cortez said she felt intimidated by the officer, and she and her staffers ran on their own. They eventually encountered fellow Democratic Rep. Katie Porter and remained barricaded in her office for five hours.

Ocasio-Cortez found herself the recent target of condemnation from a GOP congressman who demanded she apologize for her Twitter statements in response to Ted Cruz in a back-and-forth about the crazy short sale of GameStop stock and the subsequent handling by stock market apps like Robinhood.

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“I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground,” she tweeted to the Texas senator, “but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out. Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed. In the meantime, if you want to help, you can resign.”

In his letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Chip Roy, who once served as Cruz’s chief of staff, wrote: “It has come to my attention that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a tweet a few hours ago in which she accused Senator Ted Cruz, in essence, of attempted murder.” He ended the letter with a vague threat about finding “alternative means” to condemn Ocasio-Cortez’s statements.

By this morning, a group of 13 Republicans had joined his call for an apology for Cruz.

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