Katie Hill says right-wing attacks were 'dehumanizing': 'You're not seen as a person anymore'

Katie Hill says right-wing attacks were 'dehumanizing': 'You're not seen as a person anymore'
© Greg Nash

Former California Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Cenk Uygur updates on Congressional campaign, how I will call out corporate politicians in Washington GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts MORE (D) said the attacks against her before she resigned were “dehumanizing,” but she said she was determined to not let them silence her.

“I mean, as a public figure, you're used to attacks, right? But when it gets to the level of these threats and feeling like you're not -- you're not seen as a person anymore, and that's -- the dehumanization is something that I think people can't really understand unless you have been there,” Hill said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” 

“And that's exactly what the right-wing media does,” she said, adding that the same tactics are being used on women testifying as part of the House impeachment probe. 

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Conservative outlets and tabloids published nude photos of Hill without her consent along with allegations that she had an improper relationship with a member of her campaign staff and a member of her former legislative staff. Hill resigned last month.

She admitted to her relationship with a member of her campaign staff, but denied allegations of a relationship with a member of her legislative staff that would have been in violation of House rules. 

But Hill did not go quietly. In her final floor speech, Hill said she would fight for other women experiencing the same type of abuse and highlighted the double standard women.

“I think what the right-wing media and those who attacked me wanted was for me to be silenced. And I think that that's something that we see on attacks against women, not just high-profile women, but women across the board, is that these kinds of attacks are meant to silence you, demean you, and show that you do not have power.  So, for me, it was really important to show that that's not going to work,” Hill said on CNN. 

“And I have to own up to my responsibility in this, but I think coming forward and saying I'm going to continue to be a voice for people who -- who believed in me and what this -- this whole fight is about is something that I believe in,” she added. 

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Hill said the attacks were one of the “darkest things” a person can experience. She said this form of cyber-bullying is happening to girls and women across the country. 

“I was asked about this all the time on the campaign trail by really young teenagers and girls…what are you going to do about this, right? And we don't have an answer for that.  So, we need to figure out that fight,” Hill said. 

Hill said it’s a tactic that “is constantly used by the right.”

“Look at what they're doing to the witnesses on the impeachment inquiry,” she said, noting attacks leveled against Fiona Hill and Ambassador Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchCitizens United put out a welcome mat for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Giuliani: 'I'd love to be a witness' at Senate impeachment trial MORE. “Look at what they're doing to try to silence anybody who speaks out in a way that they don't like," she said.