City Council Speaker Recounts Her Own Sexual Abuse to Combat 'The Vile Political Climate That We Find Ourselves In'
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at a recent oversight hearing.
William Alatriste for the City Council
As women keep coming forward with accounts detailing Donald Trump’s long history of alleged sexual violence, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito revealed her own experience of sexual abuse in a series of tweets last night.
1/5 girls are victims of child sex abuse.— Melissa MarkViverito (@MMViverito) October 13, 2016
I'm that 1/5.
Trump's misogyny & sexual violence has re-opened wounds I've tried to heal. #Basta
At a press conference to discuss upcoming legislation, the City Council Speaker elaborated on her Tweets, provided details on her abuse and why she felt compelled to speak.
“I spoke out because of the vile political climate that we find ourselves in,” Mark-Viverito said, explaining that because of the platform she’s been given, she felt that it was her responsibility to relate her experience.
“Between the ages of five and eight, I was molested by two different individuals at two different points in time. When you have an environment and a climate where you can be triggered, like last Friday when I heard about the tape, of someone who is boasting about violating and taking from a woman something without her consent and to have someone else there laughing and enabling it, it became very painful for me and it triggered things I hadn’t felt in a long time.”
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Mark-Viverito added, “It takes courage to put yourself in a vulnerable situation and expose yourself among people you don’t know about something that is extremely private. It’s a struggle that you go through — it never ends. It’s part of you.”
On Thursday, Trump vigorously defended new accusations against him from women he’s interacted with in the past, including People writer Natasha Stoynoff, who said Trump forcibly kissed her. Trump told a Florida rally that she wasn’t attractive enough to even be assaulted by him.
“Take a look! You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so—I don’t think so,” Trump told a crowd of cheering supporters.
In New York, the Speaker said she found it hard to listen to or be around anyone was was being “dismissive of what in fact Donald Trump was saying in that audio tape.”
“I feel uncomfortable having anyone around me that can support that candidate,” Mark-Viverito, a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, told the press. “Because in essence you are condoning that type of behavior where you think it’s okay to violate a woman because of the power you have. That’s the definition of abuse.”
According to Politico, at least ten women have now come forward claiming that Trump sexually assaulted them.
Mark-Viverito expressed sadness over the impact of Trump on the psyche of women everywhere.
“In such a short amount of time, this individual has taken us backwards in so many ways and there’s a lot of healing we have to do in this country,” she told reporters. “There’s a lot of healing that has to come once this election is over.”
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