AOC is a survivor

By adviser Feb 5, 2021
Photo: Tom Williams
Photo: Tom Williams

Content Warning: This article will discuss sexual assault, and may be triggering to some readers.

Please read this at your own discretion and practice self care.

On Monday, Feb. 1, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) explained the emotions of experiencing the capitol riots and how traumas can “compound on each other” on Instagram Live. 

During the live, she spoke about being a survivor of sexual assault as part of her compounding trauma. As a survivor myself, I was comforted in her bravery and the feeling that I am not alone. However, many others did not take her message the same way. 

When viewing a facebook post about the article, there were several negative comments: “who cares?” or “what a drama queen!” and “attention seeker.” These were just some of the “PG” comments as others say much nastier things.

As I read these comments, my heart sank. All I could think is “this is why I didn’t tell anyone.”  It is hard to be honest with trauma and confronting it is something that no one teaches you how to do. In fact, most people are taught to sweep feelings and hardships under the rug. 

But the comments that have stuck with me are: “She needs to prove it” and “She is lying.” These comments were not made by a few people, but by MANY people. 

For people who question why women do not report their assault, here is your answer- Trauma is hard. Trauma is unbearable. Being questioned about the trauma is traumatizing and being asked to prove it can feel impossible.

Trauma does not need to be proven to be real, nor do survivors owe anyone any answers. Statistically speaking, people do not lie about sexual assault. In fact, the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that false allegation rates are between 2% -10%. 

When a woman has the courage to say “I am a survivor” there should be no questions asked, only support. I applaud AOC for her courage to tell her story and hope others find comfort in knowing they are not alone.

 I will leave you with this: Believe Women.

Note from the editor: Anyone who is dealing with trauma that has been triggered by these recent events should visit the CCS website for resources. We thank this anonymous writer for sharing their story. 

By adviser

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