Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault during an emotional Instagram livestream on Monday night while she was laying out the trauma she experienced when ex-President Donald Trump’s supporters, some of whom were flaunting military-grade weapons and zip ties, were rampaging through the Capitol halls last month.
In her harrowing account of the incident, Ocasio-Cortez recalled hiding behind the bathroom door in her office when she heard a man who had entered her office yell “Where is she?!” several times before he opened the door.
“And this was the moment where I thought everything was over,” Ocasio-Cortez told her viewers. “I mean, I thought I was going to die.”
The lawmaker said the man turned out to be a Capitol police officer, but she still felt unsafe because he had not identified himself as an officer and treated her with “hostility” as he directed her to go to another building.
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
Ocasio-Cortez also slammed the Republicans who have tried to sweep the siege under the rug.
“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 told her viewers. “And I’m a survivor of sexual assault.”
“And I haven’t told many people that in my life,” the lawmaker continued. “But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 2, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who paved the way for the insurrection by helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election results, and many of his fellow Republicans have refused to confront the deadly Capitol attack that the ex-president incited. Instead, they’ve demanded that people simply “move on” from the incident.
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly called on Cruz to resign for his role in the lead-up to the violent siege, telling him at one point that “you almost had me murdered.” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) demanded the Democrat “immediately apologize” for the remark and threatened that he “will be forced to find alternative means” to condemn her if she didn’t.
Shortly after Ocasio-Cortez’s livestream ended on Monday night, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) told MSNBC that the New York congresswoman had sought refuge in her office during the attack.
“‘Don’t worry, I’m a mom, I’m calm, I’ve got everything here we need to live for like a month in this office,'” Porter recalled telling Ocasio-Cortez. “And she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don’t die today.'”
“Thank you @katieporteroc for holding it down that day,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to Porter’s remarks. “You’re a wonderful friend.”