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AOC Reveals She's A Sexual Assault Survivor While Describing Trauma Of Capitol Riots

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Instagram

AOC finally shared what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an emotionally raw Instagram live

It’s been a few weeks since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, forcing members of Congress to evacuate or take cover inside the building. We’re still learning details of what happened that day, and last night, in an emotional Instagram live video, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (better known as AOC) told her story. In the process, she revealed that the attack triggered past trauma from a sexual assault she suffered.

“I’m a sexual assault survivor. I haven’t told many people in my life,” she said, her voice wavering with emotion. “All of your traumas can, kind of, intersect and interact.”

AOC said that Republican members of Congress have told her and other survivors of the Jan. 6 attack to “get over it,” and she compared that to tactics used by abusers to silence their victims.

“The folks who are saying we should move on, we shouldn’t have accountability, etc., are saying: ‘Can you just forget about this so that we can do it again?’…I’m not going to let it happen to me again,” she said, “and I’m not going to let it happen to our country.”

AOC also shared more details from that day, revealing that she hid behind the door in her office bathroom. She said she stood there as she heard someone break in and shout, “Where is she? Where is she?”

“This was the moment where I thought everything was over,” she said, once again holding back tears. “I have never been quieter in my entire life. I thought I was going to die.”

In the 90-minute video, AOC recounted hiding in Representative Katie Porter’s office to avoid rioters who were seeking her out, looking for old gym clothes to wear to disguise herself, and considering jumping out the window to escape.

“If you have experienced any sort of trauma, just the fact of recognizing that and admitting it is already a huge step. Especially in a world where people are constantly trying to tell you that you didn’t experience what you experienced, or that you’re lying,” she said. “Those are additional traumas on traumas that you’ve already experienced. There’s the trauma of going through what you went through, and then there’s the trauma afterwards. Of people not believing you, or trying to publicly humiliate you, or trying to embarrass you.”

During and after the live, people on social media widely praised AOC for being so open and vulnerable.

You can watch the full live video below.