Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hid behind a door in her office as a man burst in yelling “Where is she?!” during the Jan. 6 insurrection. She recounted this moment on an Instagram Live video Monday night, in which she also revealed to viewers that she is a survivor of sexual assault. “I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” Ocasio-Cortez said early in the candid livestream. “And I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
The New York Democrat said she’s disgusted at Republicans who are telling the public to move on from the events that occurred on Capitol Hill—especially without an apology or recognition of the trauma the event caused for her, others in the building, and the general public—and that these tactics are all too familiar.“These folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what happened, or even telling us to apologize—these are the same tactics of abusers,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “They're trying to tell us to move on without any accountability, without any truth-telling, or without confronting the extreme damage, loss of life, trauma,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She went on to say that she knew in the days leading up to the insurrection that violence would erupt on Jan. 6. “One thing I would like to dispel is that this attack, this insurrection, happened suddenly,” Ocasio-Cortez said. "Anyone who tells you we couldn't have seen this coming is lying to you.”According to the representative, groups of Trump supporters began gathering near the Capitol more than 72 hours before the Electoral College vote. She said she began to feel unsafe doing simple errands in public like going to the grocery store. “It felt like 1 a.m. in a bodega if you didn’t know if someone was going to get jumped—and I was in a bougie grocery store,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Eventually, Ocasio-Cortez said, she had to send other people close to her to get groceries and other necessities. Despite tensions, she went to work on Jan. 6 and was ordering lunch for herself and a staffer when she heard a loud banging on her door at around 1 p.m. Moments later, she heard more violent banging on multiple doors around her office.After looking for a place to hide, she eventually slipped between an open door and the wall right as a white man with a beanie came into her office shouting for her. Ocasio-Cortez said he kept shouting, “Where is she?! Where is she?!”“This was the moment where I thought everything was over … I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “I really just felt that if this is the plan for me, then people will be able to take it from here. I had a lot of thoughts, but that was the thoughts that I had about you all. I felt that things were going to be OK and that I had fulfilled my purpose.”It turns out the man was a Capitol Police officer, but, she said, he didn’t identify himself until after a staffer told her to come out from hiding, and that the policeman looked at her with “anger and hostility.” She went on to say she and a staffer agreed they “didn’t know if he was there to help us or hurt us.”Ocasio-Cortez then left her office and was barricaded with California Rep. Katie Porter in Porter’s office. “My story is not the only story, nor is it the central story. It's one of many stories of what these people did in creating this environment,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded. “These folks who are just trying to tell us to move on are just pulling the page. They're using the same tactics of every other abuser who tells you to move on.”