- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 24, 2019

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said she was raped during college, according to an interview she did with Bloomberg News.

“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,” the Iowa senator told Bloomberg.

Ms. Ernst said that during her college years at Iowa State University, she was involved with someone who was “physically and sexually abusive.” She explained that he raped her at his house and then threatened to commit suicide if she left the relationship.

SEE ALSO: Joni Ernst denies allegations she had affair with military subordinate

The senator said she contacted the university’s sexual assault counseling center and ultimately broke up with him, but she did not contact the police about the assault.

Ms. Ernst never publicly discussed being raped prior to her interview with Bloomberg, despite speaking about her time volunteering at that same counseling center.

“I was embarrassed,” she said in the interview. “I didn’t know how to explain it. I was so humiliated. And I’m a private person, when it comes to those things.”

She did not reveal the name of the man during the interview, but a friend of hers from college told Bloomberg she told him about the assault after it happened.

The revelation comes after unrelated intimate details about her divorce from her husband Gail Ernst were reported this week.

The court filings revealed that both of the Ernsts accused each other of having affairs, which both deny. Ms. Ernst further accused her husband of physical and verbally abusive.

She addressed the reports in an interview with the Des Moines Register and described herself as a survivor.

“What I want people to understand is that I am the same person as I was last week. You just know more about what’s inside of me now,” she said.

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