“Traumas Compound”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Talks Candidly About Impact Of Capitol Riots

"I am a survivor."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rising star of the American Democratic Party, has taken to her Instagram live in order to talk about her experience during the insurrection at the Capitol, and how it compounds elements of her own personal history.

— Content Warning: This story contains discussion of sexual assault. — 

Ocasio-Cortez was present during the Capitol riots, in which Trump protestors, urged on by the former President, stormed DC’s capitol and engaged in looting and aggressive behaviours. In her Instagram live video, she describes herself as feeling deeply unsafe even before the experience — she says that 24 hours prior to the insurrection, she had “already come to the conclusion that it was not safe for me to be outside.”

During the insurrection, she says she was harassed by rally-goers, and concerned that she would be attacked.

Additionally, for the first time, Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault, and has explained how the incidents at the Capitol compounded past trauma.

“I am a survivor of sexual assault,” she said. “And I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma[s] compound on each other…So whether you had a … neglectful parent, or whether you had someone who has 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.”

“There’s no, something really big happening to you, and then you ‘deal with it’, and then you move on, and then when something else happens to you, you deal with that, and then you move on. All our experiences make us who we are. And that’s also to say that most people live with trauma. And that doesn’t even diminish any of the trauma that any one of us might have been through. It’s to say that there is a community of so many people who can understand.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been widely praised on Twitter for her honesty, and for explaining the effect of the riots psychologically.