Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Congresswoman, has revealed she is a “survivor of sexual assault”, a disclosure she made during an emotional recounting of the storming of the US Capitol last month.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 31, described being terrified for her life during the riot in an emotional broadcast on Monday night, doubling down on calls for Republican politicians to be held accountable.
The New York House member said she was harassed by those she identified as fans of former President Donald Trump for days before the Jan. 6 incident, and warned by other members of Congress to be “careful” on the day of the rally.
That day, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said on an Instagram Live broadcast, she hid behind a bathroom door in her office, fearing for her life.
She saw a white man storming into her office, shouting: “Where is she? Where is she?”
The congresswoman said it was a Capitol Police officer. However he did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer and she said she and her staff did not know whether he was there to “help us, or hurt us”.
“I mean, I thought I was going to die,” she said.
She evacuated with a staffer to another building, she added, and scrambled to get into a colleague’s office where she hid for hours.
Katie Porter, another Congresswoman, said she tried to reassure Ms Ocasio-Cortez while she was hiding out in her office.
She said she told her colleague: ” ‘I’m a mom. I’m calm. I have everything we need. We can live for like a month in this office. And she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today’.”