A day after Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges publicly said she is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she went on KARE 11’s “Breaking the News” to say that her decision to speak out was not politically motivated.
“This was born out of a lot of years of healing and the increasing understanding and increasing feeling of it’s time to talk,” Hodges said in the taped interview Tuesday night.
Reporter Jana Shortal asked Hodges if “politics kept you quiet” about the yearslong abuse.
“Yep, actually,” the mayor answered. “I always assumed when I was done with politics that I would tell my story and be of service then, but I couldn’t wait. It just got to be too big and too important.”
The mayor has declined repeated requests for an interview with the Star Tribune about her abuse revelation.
On Monday, the mayor said on the Break the Silence Day’s Facebook page that she was “abused by adults unrelated to me for many years, starting when I was 8 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,” Hodges wrote on Facebook.
Hodges, who is running for re-election, did not disclose anything more about the circumstances, but has said the abuse helps explain how she could have been an alcoholic by the age of 19.
Although the news comes in the midst of a heated mayoral election campaign, Hodges told Shortal that it was a meeting last fall with a sexual assault survivor who is a student at the University of Minnesota that made her start thinking about speaking out.
After the interview, which continued in the 10 p.m. newscast, Shortal said that the mayor’s family and close friends have known about Hodges’ abuse for 30 years.