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Melania Trump to Survivors of Sexual Assault: Don't Report Unless You Have Evidence

Erin Corbett
Melania Trump to Survivors of Sexual Assault: Don't Report Unless You Have Evidence

Melania Trump sat down with ABC World News Tonight for an interview that will air on Friday, during which she discussed the #MeToo movement and sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday.

Trump was away on a trip to Kenya last week as Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing took place. In the clip of Trump’s interview with ABC News anchor Tom Llamas, the first lady made her position on reporting sexual assault loud and clear to survivors.

“You need to have really hard evidence, that, you know, if you accuse of something, show the evidence,” Trump said. She added that she supports women, and also men. “I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, you know, ‘I was sexually assaulted’ or ‘You did that to me,’ because sometimes the media goes too far and the way they portray some stories, it’s not correct, it’s not right.”

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Last month when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with accusations that Kavanaugh attacked her in high school, breaking her silence after many years, people used Twitter to share the many reasons why they didn’t report their own sexual assaults. Some people talked about feeling shame, others said they wanted to forget the assault. But some also shared their fear that they would be asked for more evidence.

“I didn’t report because a minister told me I didn’t have enough evidence to prove anything and it would just cause a scandal,” one Twitter user shared.

Since the Kavanaugh hearing, the Trump administration has mobilized a narrative that boys are now at risk of false accusations, and they need to be protected. But data from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows that false accusations are extremely rare, and occur at a rate of just 2% to 10%.