CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In an hour and a half Instagram Live, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came forward to say she’s a survivor of sexual assault.
Being a prominent Latina Woman, those that help survivors in south Texas are hoping her courage inspires others.
“That’s definitely what we want," said Nora Bransom, digital educator for Purple Door Women's Shelter. "That’s the goal is to get more people to recognize that their trauma is still affecting them. Even if it feels like they should have moved on.”
“It’s very empowering," Priscilla Gonzalez said, a sexual abuse survivor. "And I see AOC as a very strong political woman. And she’s very encouraging. And she’s one of the. reasons as to why I also chose to run for office because I saw a young female Latina woman.”
Purple Door is an organization that offers services to sexual assault victims of all ages.
“We are absolutely able to help them,” said Bransom. “Counseling, group therapy and — I think that is really really beneficial.”
AOC said not many people knew this about her. She even struggled with the idea of being believed.
“It really does help to make people feel less alone, especially because sexual violence is so prevalent. One in three young women in our country have experienceD sexual violence.”
AOC compared that traumatic experience with what she went through during the riot on Capitol Hill. She said people have told her to “move on” from the insurrection. But like her sexual assault experience she can't move on.
With emotion in her voice she said she can’t heal until there is accountability. And she won’t be shaken by the people she calls abusers.
“I can’t fully say that I’m healed," Gonzalez said. "I think it’s like a process that you have to go through. And it’s something that takes years to just overcome. And you actually have to develop good coping mechanisms.”
“Healing takes time," said Bransom "And there is no set time that you should have moved on from something. There is no timeline.”
Bransom said while there hasn’t been an immediate spike in people calling to receive help, she says they typically do see more people come forward when someone of prominence speaks out.
If you are a survivor reaching help you can call purple door’s 24 hour hotline 1-800-580-4878 or 361-881-8888. You can visit purpledoortx.com for more information.