US Democratic politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed she is a survivor of sexual assault.
Speaking candidly on Instagram Live, the congresswoman made the revelation while detailing her harrowing experience during the insurrection at the US Capitol last month.
AOC was shocked when she heard Republicans urging others to 'move on' from the siege that killed five people, and said it was similar 'tactic of abusers'.
"The reason I'm getting emotional at 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," she 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.
"And so, whether you had a negligent or a neglectful parent, and - 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."
The politician also said that the terrifying ordeal at the US Capitol building had her believing 'everything was over' and she was 'going to die'.
The 31-year-old told her followers she had been forced to hide behind a bathroom door as rioters were searching for her during the insurrection.
"I had a pretty traumatising event happen to me, and I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event due to security concerns, but I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die," she said.
"I hear huge violent bangs on my door and then every door going into my office."
Ocasio-Cortez explained on the moment she knew something was wrong, adding: "Like someone was trying to break the door down. And there were no voices. There were no yells. No one saying who they were, nobody identifying themselves."
The most frightening part of the experience came as an officer - who did not identify himself - began screaming out to locate her.
After a staffer told her the man was an officer and it was okay to come out, AOC said that 'something didn't feel right' about the situation, insisting that the man was looking at her with 'anger and hostility.'
"Things weren't adding up," she said.
Following the congresswoman coming out with her story, she said that her 'story isn't the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened on Jan 6th.'
"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," she said.
"This is not about a difference of political opinion, this is about basic humanity."
She urged Republicans to hold themselves accountable, warning Americans aren't safe 'with people who hold positions of power who are willing to endanger the lives of others if they think it will score them a political point'.
She continued: "I'm not going to let it happen to me again. I'm not going to let it happen to the people victimised by the situation again, and I'm not going to let it happen to our country.
Just last month, a man was arrested for allegedly taking part in the storming of the Capitol and posting violent threats on social media that included a call to assassinate AOC.
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