POLITICS
10/13/2016 04:18 pm ET Updated Oct 25, 2016

New York Politician Reveals Sexual Abuse After Donald Trump Triggered Awful Memories

She says she couldn't stay silent anymore.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) has spoken out in the past about Donald Trump's comments on Judg
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) has spoken out in the past about Donald Trump's comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump accused of being biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) revealed this week that she was molested as a child, and that memories of that time were triggered by hearing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 2005 comments about using his fame to get away with kissing and groping women without their consent.

“I just couldn’t stay silent,” she said at a press conference on Thursday.

Mark-Viverito first tweeted about being abused as a child the evening before, amid a slew of news reports about women alleging that Trump sexually assaulted them.  

She said she had never spoken publicly about the abuse, which took place when she was between the ages of 5 and 8 at the hands of two individuals. She felt that now was the time to come forward, even though it is “very, very uncomfortable” to discuss, because she has a responsibility to raise visibility of the issue, she said at the press conference. 

“When you have an individual who is boasting about violating and taking from a woman something without her consent, I just couldn’t anymore,” she said, referring to the 2005 video of Trump. “And to have someone laughing and goading it and enabling it is just ― it was very painful for me and it triggered things that I hadn’t felt in a long time.”

Trump’s 2005 comments were published on Friday, and he said at a presidential debate two days later that he had never kissed or groped women without their consent. On Thursday, Trump insisted that the recent allegations were part of a conspiracy led by the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the media.

“They’re pure fiction and they’re outright lies,” Trump said of the reports during a rally on Thursday.

Mark-Viverito supports Clinton and has criticized Trump in the past for his remarks on immigrants. The latest news about his treatment of women makes her question his supporters, she said at the press conference.

“I would feel uncomfortable having anyone around me that could support that candidate because in essence you are condoning that type of behavior where you think it’s OK to violate a woman because of the power you have,” Mark-Viverito said.

A number of high-profile Republicans dropped their support for Trump over the weekend based on his remarks, although some of them re-endorsed him on Tuesday.

“There is some diminishment in his support and I think that’s just going to continue to grow, and I hope so,” Mark-Viverito said. “I would hope so.”

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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