After the sealed divorce records of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst were made public, pressure in the public eye has made her reveal her personal and tragic past.
Ernst revealed in a recent interview that she was the victim of rape in college and also suffered domestic violence from her now ex-husband.
“What happened in our private life has now become public consumption,” Ernst stated at a town hall meeting. “I would love to point the finger and say ‘somebody screwed up, somebody leaked,’ but they’re out there, and now I will deal with that. But what I want people to understand is that I am the same person as I was last week.”
“I fully believe that survivors have the right to keep their stories to themselves if they don’t want to share those stories, or are not ready to share those stories,” Ernst said. “Unfortunately I have been forced to share my story.”
Ernst confided in Bloomberg that she was trapped in a “physically and sexually” abusive relationship in college that eventually lead to her being raped. She held her silence in fear after her assailant threatened to kill himself if she left the relationship.
“I didn’t want to share it with anybody, and in the era of hashtag-MeToo survivors, I always believed that every person is different and they will confront their demons when they’re ready,” Ernst explained.