Ocasio-Cortez, her voice wavering, revealed during the live stream that she was a survivor of sexual assault, something she said many people did not know, because there were only so many times she'd wanted to tell that story.
She called for Republican politicians to be held accountable and accused members of the GOP of using "the tactics of abusers" by "encouraging" rioters.
Those are the same tactics, she said, "of that man who touched you inappropriately at work, telling you to move on". The congresswoman did not share details of the assault. The live video went for an hour and a half, and also touched upon AOC's history of surviving sexual assault.
According to Ocasio-Cortez, no matter the trauma "these episodes can compound on one another".
In July a year ago, Ocasio-Cortez, who was re-elected to her NY constituency in the Queens and the Bronx with 71 percent of votes, denounced a Republican representative who had called her "disgusting" and "a bitch".
She then described being so afraid that she lost all sense of time and thought she was going to die.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram Live on Monday evening to give her harrowing account of cowering in her congressional office in D.C., revealing for the first time that she is a survivor of sexual abuse, to explain why she believes her colleagues who egged on the January 6 crowd with baseless accusations of election fraud - like Sen. She and other colleagues in the so-called "Squad" have experienced multiple threats of violence and death threats since taking office. "Poor Katie, I'm opening every closet, I'm opening every nook, I'm opening every cranny looking for where I'm going to hide when they get into this office".
The congresswoman said that a little after 1 p.m., she heard banging on her door, "like someone was trying to break the door down". She said she heard repeated yells of "where is she?".
"Happy to work with nearly any other [Republicans] that aren't trying to get me killed", Ocasio-Cortez added.
"I have never been quieter in my entire life", Ocasio-Cortez said. I held my breath.
But the threats came thundering down on January 6, as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden's victory. The man turned out to be a Capitol Police officer who had not identified himself.
"We couldn't even tell or read if this was a good situation or bad situation", she said, adding that "it didn't feel okay".
"The accountability is not about revenge", Ocasio-Cortez said.
She broke down while explaining that she eventually made peace with death, deciding "I had fulfilled my goal".
"You don't know if that person was actually trying to protect you or not", she said. "They're trying to tell us it wasn't a big deal", she said. Soon, she realised someone was in her office. "'I hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don't die today, '" Ocasio-Cortez replied. "Or male sounding names?"
"These people remain a present danger", she said.
"It felt like a zombie movie", she said. "Those text messages came from other members of Congress". Instead, they've demanded that people simply "move on" from the incident. "And we found her a pair of sneakers to wear from one of my staffers so that she could run if she needed to literally run for her life".
"Anyone who tells you that we couldn't have seen this coming is lying to you". Anyone who's gone on the record and said that there was no indication of violence has lied. "There were so may indications of this leading up to this moment".
In a pair of tweets following her broadcast, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that her "story isn't the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened on Jan 6th".
"If this was the plan for me, people would be able to take it from here", she told supporters, noting that she was thinking about them and the movement they had built ad become part of.
Democracy addressed its followers on Instagram Live on Monday in a touching video.