There has been an outpouring of support for congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on Monday revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault and said those who came under attack during the deadly Capitol Hill riots will “move on” once the perpetrators are held accountable.
“These are the tactics that abusers use, the folks who are saying, ‘We should move on,’ ‘we shouldn’t have accountability,’ etc, are saying: ‘Can you just forget about this so we can do it again?'” she said.
On 6 January, when the Congress was in session, rioters egged on by the then president himself stormed the Capitol forcing Congress members to take shelter as they wreaked havoc.
“What a horrific and traumatic experience. Thank you [AOC] for being so vulnerable and sharing what happened to you that day. #AOC,” tweeted a student with the handle KatGraceB.
Alexandra Staseson, a singer, tweeted: “Arrow to the heart [AOC]. Thank you for your bravery and openheartedness.”
“May your Spiritual insight & clarity continue to protect You as You lead in Grace. May trauma leave your body & may your leadership inspire transformation in the field of trauma-informed government #AOC IG,” Ms Staseson said.
AOC, the 31-year-old progressive Democrat who represents New York’s 14th congressional district, has been a vocal critic of the former president.
Mehdi Hasan, a TV show host and political analyst, said he realised “how close we came to a bloodbath, the terror they experienced, I’m enraged,” after listening to AOC and representative Katie Porter share their experiences from 6 January.
“Enraged at Trump inciting it. Enraged at Cruz telling us to all move on. Enraged at the millions who are okay with it,” he tweeted.
As the support started coming in for her, Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “My story isn’t the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened” on 6 January. “It is just one story of many of those whose lives were endangered at the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people who chose personal gain above democracy.”
“Thanks for making the space for me, and hope we can all make space for others to tell their stories in the weeks to come. And to those who wish to paper over their misdeeds by rushing us to all ‘move on’ – we can move on when the individuals responsible are held to account,” she said.
Another Twitter user, [BzFirePrincess] tweeted, “When #aoc says she thought she was going to die, I believe her. I, along with other women, was held at gunpoint in a small nail salon when I was 19, by two young men. I totally thought they were going to pull the trigger.”
While Steve Seel, who is the host of the Minnesota public radio, said: “This is re-injecting a much needed dose of reality into the numbness that’s already begun to set in around the capitol insurrection, hastened in no small part by the GOP’s disgraceful calls to ‘move on.’ They want you to move on because they know this was almost a massacre.”
“AOC’s admission of being an abuse survivor is especially poignant, given the horror the she clearly experienced on 1/6. It’s one of the most devastating moments of her IG (Instagram). To which I can only respond, the fact that THIS is the environment our lawmakers now live under, and especially the Squad, is an absolute disgrace for what purports to be a civilised society,” Seel tweeted.
Sara Benincasa, a writer, said: “And enormous respect to AOC for choosing to disclose that she was sexually assaulted when she was younger, and to discuss how new danger to one’s safety can awaken and compound old traumatic memories.”
Greg Brian, a freelance writer, tweeted: “Few really understand the terror of this unless they’ve ever had their life threatened. Some of us have the empathy to understand. Far too many others in Congress are apparently still alpha humans. Kudos to [AOC] for reminding us how serious this was. #AOC.”