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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in a raw and emotional Instagram Live broadcast on Monday, revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault and condemned Republicans pushing her to move on from the Capitol attack as employing the same “tactics of abusers.”

“I’m a survivor of sexual assault—and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” the New York congresswoman said, speaking to an audience of about 150,000 viewers. “But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.” 

“So whether you had a neglectful parent, or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life small to large, these episodes can compound on one another.”

Ocasio-Cortez also shared more harrowing details from inside the January 6 insurrection, recalling that she was forced to hide in her office bathroom while a man screamed outside, “Where is she? Where is she?” 

“This is the moment where I thought everything was over,” she continued. “I thought I was going to die.” The voice turned out to belong to a Capitol police officer, who she says he looked at her with “a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.” Shortly after, Ocasio-Cortez and a staffer ran to another building and hid with Rep. Katie Porter. 

Porter recounted her time with Ocasio-Cortez that day to MSNBC on Monday. “The thing that will always stay with me,” she said, “the two memories especially as a mom I think that were just really powerful for me was when I said, “Don’t worry, I’m a mom, I’m calm, I’ve got everything here that we need’…And she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today.'”

“The second thing is that she was wearing heels—I was wearing flats,” Porter continued. “I remember her saying to me, ‘I knew I shouldn’t have worn heels. How am I going to run?’ And we went and found her a pair of sneakers to wear from one of my staffers so that she could run if she literally needed to run for her life.” 

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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