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AOC: 'I Thought Everything Was Over'

Congresswoman recounts Capitol attack, reveals she's a sexual assault survivor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 6:38 AM CST
Updated Feb 2, 2021 6:56 AM CST

(Newser) – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed she is a sexual assault survivor Monday in a candid 90-minute discussion about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which left her fearing for her life. "I'm a survivor of sexual assault," an emotional AOC announced on Instagram Live, at times speaking to an audience of more than 150,000 viewers, per the New York Times. "And I haven't told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other." The Democrat from New York said she came to understand her experience during the riot as a traumatic one, per the Washington Post. She said she was hiding in her office's bathroom when she heard a man's voice yell, "Where is she? Where is she?" "I just thought to myself, 'They got inside,'" she said, per USA Today. "And this was the moment where I thought everything was over."

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The man turned out to be a Capitol police officer, who wanted to ensure her safety, but AOC said he looked at her with "a tremendous amount of anger and hostility." "It didn't feel okay." She said she moved buildings, but could "hear the hinges cracking" as rioters neared. She ended up in an office with Rep. Katie Porter, who described the encounter Monday on MSNBC. Porter said she told AOC, "'Well don’t worry, I'm a mom, I'm calm’ … and she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don't die today.'" AOC, who noted Trump supporters had heckled her at her car days earlier, said those like Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley "who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened" are using "the same tactics of abusers." "The accountability is not about revenge," she added. "This is about just basic humanity." (Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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