Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram on Monday to recount the harrowing Capitol riots and discuss the trauma she suffered from the event but also revealed that she is a sexual assault survivor. While speaking to her followers in an Instagram Live stream, Ocasio-Cortez spoke candidly about her experience and blasted critics who have downplayed the situation. "These folks who tell us to 'move on,' that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what happened or even telling us to apologize — these are the same tactics of abusers," she said. Ocasio-Cortez then stated, "And I'm a survivor of sexual assault."
The young New York lawmaker continued sharing what happened that terrifying day as she hid from the mob of Donald Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol and forced their way inside. "I just start to hear these yells: 'Where is she? Where is she?' This was the moment where I thought it was over," Ocasio-Cortez recalled. The voice she heard turned out to be a Capitol police officer. However, she went on to claim that the officer had failed to let her group know where they needed to be in order to be safely escorted out of the building.
"Did he not give us the extraction point location because he forgot, or was he trying to actually put us in a vulnerable [...] situation?" Ocasio-Cortez said, implying that she still has doubts over the situation. "Just the very uncertainty that you don't know if that person was actually trying to protect you or not is already deeply unsettling." The congresswoman then shared some helpful insight she received from her fellow lawmaker Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who told her, "What you experienced was traumatizing. And you need to take care of yourself."
Ocasio-Cortez later added, "My story isn’t the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened on Jan 6th. 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." She continued, "Thanks for making the space for me, and hope we can all make space for others to tell their stories in the weeks to come. And to those who wish to paper over their misdeeds by rushing us to all 'move on' - we can move on when the individuals responsible are held to account."
A number of Ocasio-Cortez's peers have come out to support her in the wake of her revealing Instagram Live stream, with Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA) tweeting, "Trauma leaves real scars and this pain only compounds in isolation. If we are going to heal as a community and a democracy, we need to listen, speak the truth, and demand accountability. Sending healing and gratitude to [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] for sharing her truth."
Original story here.