New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar, a Democratic socialist, has disclosed that she’s a survivor of sexual assault. However, this was a statement she says she decided to make after being informed that the Daily Caller, a conservative website with white nationalist ties, was running a story about her assault, forcibly outing her as a survivor.
In a statement shared on Twitter on Tuesday, Salazar wrote that she had been informed that a story was going to be published, and said she wanted to confirm her identity as a survivor before the piece ran.
“…I want to come forward and confirm that I was a victim of sexual assault by David Keyes—the Prime Minister of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu]’s spokesperson to foreign media. This story appears to be an effort to cast doubt upon my, and other women’s, accusations against Keyes,” Salazar wrote.
Salazar published her statement hours before the Daily Caller ran its piece about her assault, referencing a Facebook post that a woman who the publication identified as Salazar had published about Keyes and quickly taken down, which was reported in the Times of Israel in 2016. The Daily Caller article noted the Facebook post’s deletion and reported that it couldn’t find documents of Salazar reporting the assault to authorities, appearing to cast doubt on the validity of Salazar’s account, a common tactic of the far-right that doesn’t take into account that most women never file a police report because they believe nothing will ever come of it.
“Why did she delete these accusations? Does she still stand by them?” an email sent by the website to Salazar read, calling into question Salazar’s reasoning for deciding she no longer wanted her assault publicized.
Keyes has denied Salazar’s account, stating, “This false accusation is made by someone who has proven to be repeatedly dishonest about her own life. This is yet another example of her dishonesty,” according to Times of Israel diplomatic correspondent Raphael Ahren.
Salazar said that other women had accusations against Keyes, and that journalists had also spoken with her on background about the assault. She said that women don’t come forward because of the “triggering and vicious responses that follow,” alluding to the story that has questioned her experience.
Despite the Daily Caller’s attempt to poke holes in Salazar’s account with Keyes, Salazar’s statement garnered another accusation against him. Wall Street Journal national news reporter Shayndi Raice responded by tweeting that she also had a “terrible encounter” with Keyes before he worked for the prime minister, and went on to detail her own experience.
“The man had absolutely no conception of the word ‘no.’ No matter how often I said no, he would not stop pushing himself on me. I was able to extricate myself quickly and it was a very brief and uncomfortable moment but I knew as I walked away I had encountered a predator,” Raice wrote. “In subsequent conversations, I had discovered his mistreatment of women was an open secret.”
In subsequent conversations, I had discovered his mistreatment of women was an open secret. (I should note this happened before he worked for the prime minister.)
— Shayndi Raice (@Shayndi) September 11, 2018
“I strongly believe sexual assault survivors should not be outed in this way, and am saddened by the effect this story may have on other women,” Salazar’s statement concluded.
New York’s state primary is tomorrow, Sept. 13.
H/T the Cut