Sexual Assault Victim Outed By Heidi Heitkamp Tells CNN: My Life Will Never Be the Same
On Thursday, CNN conducted an interview with one of the women whose sexual assault story was taken public against her will by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
Heitcamp and her re-election campaign have been apologizing this week over a political ad that both misidentified several women as domestic/sexual abuse victims, and also told the stories of actual survivors without their permission. Lexi Zhorela was one of the women Heitcamp outed, and she said the senator has yet to reach out her personally despite a promise to do so.
In terms of what Heitcamp can do to fix her error, Zhorela said its a moot point since “the damage is done” and people have already been outed against their will. She also talked about what her life is like now that people know what she experienced.
“From now on when I walk around I’ll know that they know that’s what has happened to me and forever, for the rest of my life, I will have to hold the title as a survivor, and that wasn’t my choice. I never made that choice in the first place but now I’m gonna have to live with it for the rest of my life.”
As Zhorela continued to talk about her legal options and her plans for the upcoming election, Erica Hill informed her that Heitkamp was issuing a renewed promise to reach out to the women she wronged. When asked how she expects that conversation to pan out, Zhorela said she expects to demand answers on how this happened.
“I don’t understand the reason people think it’s right to just take your name and use it without you even knowing about it,” she said.
Watch above, via CNN.
[Photo via Screengrab]
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