Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Ocasio-Cortez reveals she’s a sexual assault survivor, recounts ‘trauma’ of Capitol riot: ‘I thought everything was over’

By Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post

As rioters threatened to breach the Capitol on Jan. 6, a staffer rushed into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office and told her to hide. Soon after she ran into a bathroom, she heard a thunderous banging noise outside.

“Where is she? Where is she?” someone yelled, Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in an Instagram Live chat on Monday night. “And this was the moment where I thought everything was over.”

The person thumping on the doors turned out to be a police officer trying to move her to a secure location, Ocasio-Cortez said, but the harrowing moment was just the first of many as a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol.

With around 150,000 viewers watching live, Ocasio-Cortez for the first time recounted in detail what she had earlier described as a near-death experience during the attempted insurrection. The New York Democrat also revealed during the 90-minute discussion that she is a survivor of sexual assault. She compared lawmakers like Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), whom she accused of trying to play down the seriousness of the riot, to abusers who attempt to silence and undermine victims.


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