Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reveals she is a survivor of sexual assault and compares Republicans to abusers for urging Americans to move on from the insurrection

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reveals she is a survivor of sexual assault and compares Republicans to abusers for urging Americans to move on from the insurrection
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Headquarters in Washington.AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday night said she was a survivor of sexual assault.
  • She said the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 had compounded her trauma.
  • She accused the GOP of using "the tactics of abusers" by advising her to "move on."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday said for the first time publicly that she had been sexually assaulted, and she compared Republicans to abusers for urging the US to move on from the January 6 insurrection.

"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," Ocasio-Cortez said of Republicans who opposed impeaching President Donald Trump and who now want the country to move on from the Capitol siege.

"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 apologize. These are the tactics of abusers," the congresswoman said, seeming close to tears, to about 100,000 viewers on Instagram Live.

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"I'm a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven't told many people that in my life," she continued, adding that the Capitol insurrection had compounded her trauma.

"But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other," she said. "Whether you had a negligent parent, 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 each other."

Ocasio-Cortez appeared on Instagram Live to offer her account of the attack on the Capitol, in which a mob of Trump's supporters sought to disrupt Congress' certification of his reelection defeat. She said she was able to hide out with Rep. Katie Porter in her office, also sharing that she temporarily locked herself in her office bathroom when she believed her office was being breached (the person turned out to be a Capitol Police officer).

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"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," Ocasio-Cortez said. "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."

Last month, Ocasio-Cortez appeared in an Instagram livestream in which she alluded to a "very close encounter" in which she thought she was "going to die."

She told that story with more details Monday night, describing how a Capitol Police officer banged on the door to her office while she and a staffer hid inside because they thought the officer was a member of the mob.

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