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American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has spoken candidly about being a sexual assault survivor for the first time.
The congresswoman, 31, spoke tearfully about her experience when describing the trauma she faced when a violent mob stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last month.
You can watch the video below.
Taking to her Instagram Live to describe what happened, the New York-based Democrat said she "thought she was going to die" when in hiding when rioters scaled the building on 6th January.
Alexandria, better known by her initials AOC, tearfully added her frustration at being told to "move on" after the attack.
"These folks like to tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what happened, even telling us that we should apologise - these are the same tactics of abusers," Alexandria said.
"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."
Alexandria's 90 minute Instagram Live story saw her detail her thoughts and actions when a group of Donald Trump supporters rushed the Capitol. Having been warned by several other people about the possibility of violence over the coming days, AOC found herself in the midst of the violence after she had received her Covid-19 vaccine.
"I immediately realised I shouldn't have gone into the bathroom. I should have gone in the closet," she said.
"Then I hear whoever was trying to get inside got into my office. I realise it's too late.
"This was the moment I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die."
Wiping away tears, she continued: "I start to look through the door hinge to see if I can see anything. I see this white man in a black beanie and yell again. I have never been quieter in my life."
After seeking refuge in the bathroom, a staffer had eventually told her it was safe to emerge from the bathroom where she was hiding, and a Capitol police officer was now patrolling her office. She and her team had left the office, she recalled, and had eventually found shelter in the offices of the California representative Katie Porter.
AOC has been particularly damning over former President Donald Trump for inciting the riots, after he repeatedly made the unfounded claims the election was "stolen" from him. He is now facing impeachment.
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