AOC on surviving sexual assault, trauma and the “tactics of abusers”

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Hollie Richardson
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Republicans who are calling for people to move on from the US Capitol riots are “using the same tactics of abusers”.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed she is a survivor of sexual assault. 

The Democratic congresswoman shared her story in an Instagram video while recalling what happened during the recent US Capitol riots. She feared for her life while hiding behind a bathroom door in her office as supporters of then-president Donald Trump stormed the building. Five people died that day, while dozens of others were injured.

Ocasio-Cortez mentioned being a survivor of sexual assault in the video because she thinks that Republicans who are calling for people to move on from the deadly violence are using the same tactics of abusers.

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“The reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologise, these are the same tactics of abusers,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“And 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.”

Ocasio-Cortez criticised Chip Roy, a Texas congressman, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz for denying what she described as their responsibility for the storming of the Capitol. 

“These are the tactics of abusers,” she said. “Or rather, these are the tactics that abusers use.

“And so when I see this happen, how I feel, how I felt was: ‘Not again.’ I’m not going to let this happen again. I’m not going to let it happen to me again. I’m not going to let it happen to the other people who’ve been victimised by this situation again. And I’m not going to let this happen to our country. We’re not going to let it happen.”

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She added: “We cannot move on without accountability. We cannot heal without accountability. All these people telling us to move on are doing so at their own convenience…

“The folks who are saying, ‘We should move on,’ ‘We shouldn’t have accountability,’ et cetera, are saying: ‘Can you just forget about this so we can, you know, do it again?’”

You can watch the full video on Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram account.

If you need to speak to someone about life after sexual assault, please visit The Survivors Trust website or call the helpline: 08088 010818. 

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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