Dear Melania Trump,
How dare you try to strip the voice of survivors? Your opinion on sexual assault and the #MeToo movement was all the support needed to keep rape culture alive. You sat boldly and stared into the face of cameras telling sexual assault victims and survivors what they need to have before being able to tell their truth and share their stories, echoing that they must have what you call "hard evidence."
This is why women do not tell their stories. People like you who try to force victims into convincing us of their trauma. As if you can't tell by the delicacy of their voice trembling, or the saddening looks in their eyes. This sentiment is the same ideology that turns victims into accusers. A narrative that tries to spin truths into falsehood when they don't support your ideas of people. As if reputation is so important that it warrants burying someone's sanity and liberation to live freely in their skin.
You cannot say you stand with women but in that same breath support the men involved, too. As if they are the ones who need protection. Did you know the National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that the likelihood of false allegations are between 2% to 10%, and they even call those numbers inflated? So while we're on your topic of "hard evidence," what about your husband? Evidence was presented on multiple occasions to support that he has abused women. Not only one, two, or three accusers, but an outstanding number of thirteen women, all with different horrific stories but with the common factor in each being your husband and his repulsive, despicable behaviors. Or have you tried to bury that evidence? As if we didn't hear actual audio of your husband, bragging on his money and fame as if it was a free pass to any women's body. Suddenly "evidence" isn't good enough for you, once again victim blaming.
Your justification was to get background checks on the victims, calling it an organized tactic of the opposition. But no one made Trump state those thoughts and feelings when he thought no one was listening, with a half thought of apology that we probably would have never gotten if someone hadn't told him that it couldn't be swept under the rug. You said that these women should have background checks. For what? As if anything that could be found on a background screening would somehow disqualify their accounts of what happened. As if any victim would have anything to gain except the judgment of people who have never walked a day in her shoes.
People want no more than for them to sit down and be quiet so we don't have to have these conversations that make so many uncomfortable. So when you say you support women Melania, we don't believe you. Your actions say otherwise as you lie in bed every night with a man that mocks victims and women. While it is great you have "moved on" from the comments that your husband made, there are many women all over the world who haven't. Even more, women that shouldn't. Women who will refuse to normalize the sickening behavior you chose to tolerate.