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Ernst Reveals She Was Raped In College And Accuses Her Ex-Husband Of Being Abusive

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike Brest Reporter

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said in a recent interview she was raped in college and was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband.

She was forced to address the allegations of domestic violence after her sealed divorce records became public earlier this week.

“What happened in our private life has now become public consumption,” Ernst said Wednesday morning during a town hall meeting in Cedar Falls, according to Muscatine Journal. “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.”

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 12: (AFP OUT) Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) participates in a meeting on trade with held by U.S. President Donald Trump with governors and members of Congress at the White House on April 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis – Pool/Getty Images)

“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 added. “Unfortunately I have been forced to share my story.”

Ernst told Bloomberg that she was in a “physically and sexually” abusive relationship in college in which one night she was raped and then her rapist threatened to kill himself if she ended the relationship. (RELATED: Iowa GOP Senators Condemn Steve King)

“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 said in the interview with Bloomberg.

The court documents that were unsealed also allege that both she and her husband had extramarital affairs, but the Iowa senator denied the allegations.

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