Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been met with an outpouring of support since revealing that she is a survivor of sexual assault.

The Democrat congresswoman said on an Instagram Live stream yesterday that the trauma of fearing for her life during the Capitol riot compounded her past experiences of trauma.

Wiping away tears, she said:

“I thought I was going to die. And I had a lot of thoughts. I was thinking, if this is the plan for me, people will be able to take it from here.”

Ocasio-Cortez also recalled hearing banging on the walls and a man shouting “where is she” as she hid from the Trump supporters who breached the Capitol building. She went on to compare the dismissive response some people had to the riot to the “tactics of abusers”.

“These folks [that] tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what happened, even telling us that we should apologise – these are the same tactics of abusers. I’m a survivor of sexual assault. And I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”

Since her Instagram Live, AOC has been met with an outpouring of supportive messages.

She also received supportive messages on Instagram, including one that said “thank you for being so open and honest” and another that said “I’m a survivor too, thank you for sharing”. 

AOC responded by thanking her supporters for making space for her to tell her story about the riot.

AOC has been a vocal critic of Trump and his supporters’ attack on the Capitol. She recently condemned senior Republicans for answering to conspiracy theorists and white supremacists

She has also called for Trump’s impeachment for inciting the attack. 

You can find more information and advice for people affected by rape and sexual abuse at Rape Crisis or you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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