Mayor Hodges Says Sexual Assault Revelation Not Politically Motivated

After coming out that she was sexually abused as a child, some questioned the motives behind the Mayor’s announcement.

Photo by Tony Webster. (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is continuing to speak out about her experiences growing up with sexual assault.

On Monday, Hodges posted her story to the “Break The Silence Day” Facebook page, saying she was repeatedly sexually abused as a child starting at the age of eight years old.

“My family did not know. I believed — was threatened into believing — that the slightest indication that anything was amiss would jeopardize the safety of everyone and everything I loved. No one knew until I told them early in my sobriety — not my friends, not my family,” wrote Hodges.

Hodges said the abuse contributed to her teenage alcoholism.

A day later, Hodges spoke to KARE 11’s Jana Shortal, who asked Hodges why this announcement is coming during the midsts of a heated mayoral campaign.

“Last fall, I met with a University of Minnesota student who is a survivor of rape there. She was talking to me about her story, her experience with police. It was in that meeting that I realized — I’m a public figure, I haven’t told my story, it would be useful right now if I had because I could have that conversation with her,” Hodges told KARE 11. “The seed was planted — it is time. It’s time to talk about it.”

Her announcement comes shortly after being named one of the worst Mayors in the country.

Hodges said in the interview she originally planned on waiting to share her story until after she was finished with politics.

“I knew there wouldn’t be a good time. You know what, there’s not a good time. There’s not a good time to be a survivor of sex assault,” said Hodges.

According to the most recent data made available by the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2005 alone, 61,000 Minnesota children and adults were sexually assaulted, some of them more than once, for a total of 77,000 assaults. The number of victims facing sexual assault in one year would fill more than the Target Center and Target Field combined.

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Julia Erynn