Former Air Force pilot and U.S. Sen. Martha McSally said she was the victim of a sexual assault Wednesday while running near Omaha Nebraska.
The former Republican senator from Arizona posted about the incident on her Instagram.
“I was just sexually assaulted while out running. I am safe. I am ok. It could have been much worse. I have a lot to process. For anyone else who has been assaulted, speak up. Find your power. Process it emotionally, spiritually, neurologically. I am safe,” she wrote.
“I was just running while I was out running along the Missouri River on the Iowa side. I’m here in Omaha to speak tonight about courage and heart, and how to be a brave heart. And I just had it put to the test,” McSally said in a video on her page.
‘I realize I’m still in an adrenaline state,” she said, adding “I’m OK.”
McSally recounted the incident.
“A man came up behind me and he engulfed me in a bear hug, and he molested and fondled me until I fought him off,” she said.
“I then chased him down. I said a lot of swear words in this moment. I was in a fight, flight or freeze, and I chose to fight.
“I ran after him. I threw my water bottle at him, and I chased him into the brush, where he was then hiding as I called 911 and waited for the police to come. I don’t think they found him, and I’m OK,” she said.
McSally said fighting back was the right thing to do.
“But, in this moment, I just wanted to share that I chose to fight and I’m OK right now, in part, because of that. It could have been much worse. I still have a lot to process and I will do that in time.”
McSally said she would process what took place in what she called a “healthy way.”
“I know it’s tapped into a nerve of other sexual abuse and assault that I’ve been through in the past, which I’ve healed from, as much as I feel can be done,” she said.
McSally said in 2019 that while she was in the Air Force, she was raped by a superior officer.
“But in this case, I felt like I took my power back. He tried to take power from me, but I turned it on him and he was running from me instead of the other way around. Not giving anyone advice on how to respond in situations like this. It could have been much worse. But I chose, in the moment, it wasn’t really a decision. I just sprung into action to go after him and have him running from me. But I’m safe and I’m glad that I did that,” she said Wednesday.
According to the AZ Central, agencies in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Pottawattamie County, Iowa, could not provide information about the incident.
In 2019, when speaking up about her sexual assault in the Air Force, McSally said the incident almost caused her to leave the service.
JUST IN: In emotional moment at hearing on military sexual assault, Sen. Martha McSally, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran, says, “I am also a military sexual assault survivor.”
— ABC News (@ABC) March 6, 2019
“I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences was handled,” she said. She almost left the Air Force after 18 years.
“Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.