RAPE IS A TERRIBLE crime by all standards. And this is further worsened by the fact that it psychologically destroys the victims for the rest of their lives. Most rape victims never completely recover from the psychological trauma. It always remains a bitter experience that reshapes the rest of their lives.
It is true that a lot of young women had been victims of rape or sexual assault at some point in their lives, though they chose not to report it due to the usual backlash from the society and lackadaisical attitude of law enforcement agencies to rape.
Consequently, every now and again, once a fresh rape case hits the news, many ladies often jump on the trend to call out some men who had raped them in the past.
Recently, sequel to the highly-publicized case of Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, the 22-year-old UNIBEN student that was raped and killed here in Benin City two weeks ago, a lot of ladies had been urged to expose the rapists they know (if any). Hence, many Nigerian girls had once again taken to social media to call out the men that previously raped them, and in most of the cases, the alleged rapists were either entertainment industry celebrities or other popular figures.
While this is commendable because every rapist, regardless of his social status, deserves punishment; sadly, many ladies had turned it to a weapon to avenge on a former love interest or acquaintance that jilted or hurt them in the past! For some, it is assuming the form of a sport.
Rape victims are often advised to report the crime as soon as possible because the evidence of the assault is often present at the time and it is easier to nab the criminal. Any serious delay in reporting it could pose a difficulty in arresting or prosecuting the alleged offender.
The issue with delayed cases is that, because the evidence has been lost, the accusation becomes a case of the “lady’s word against his.” This makes it difficult to arrest the accused because there’s no proof, and hence such rape victims never get the justice they deserve.
However, in the case of false rape allegation, the accused is jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. Even before he is proven guilty, he is stigmatized, ridiculed, bashed on social media, and humiliated for a crime he didn’t do.
In the case of celebrities, they could lose their endorsement deals with brands worth millions, get their gigs called off, label contracts terminated, etc. Politicians could be forced to resign from public offices and even jailed afterwards.
Therein lies the issue.
A strong but false rape accusation can therefore turn the life of a man upside down in a matter of days. It can tilt some into depression and even suicide. That is how bad it is. History is replete with cases of young men who committed suicide or were jailed/executed for a false rape accusation.
In most cases, the false accuser may just shed crocodile tears on social media, apologize, blame the devil, and then move on with her life, while that of the young man she accused falsely had been lost or severely devastated.
It is the reason why false rape accusations should be given same severe punitive measures as the crime of rape itself.
In the past two weeks, at least 5 Nigerian celebrities/public figures had been accused of rape. From Zoro Akpa Swag to Uti Nwachukwu, Peruzzi, D’Banj, and Ettu Mohammed, a Lagos State politician. And while these guys battle to clear their names through legal means, their brand is already taking a huge blow both publicly and financially. How it will pan out remains to be seen.
Globally, recently concluded ones involved sports superstars like Ronaldo, Neymar, etc.
Regardless, one thing is obvious, every male celebrity in Nigeria right now is scared of being pulled into a rape accusation. It is one mess that every brand abhors like crazy.
Funnily enough, in the social media world of today, it is so easy to pull ‘any celebrity of your choice’ into the rape mud. The best part is that you don’t even have to be a lady to achieve it.
And for it to be effective, the accuser (man or woman) doesn’t even need to have physically met the accused (celebrity).
Even if the accuser is a guy, all he needs to do is create a fake IG or Twitter account with some phoney name, put up pics of one sexy gal for a few days, then accuse any celebrity he likes of raping “her.”
He will then create another account and save it to his phone using the celebrity’s name, then chat with himself, accusing “himself” (the celebrity) of rape. Then he will share the screenshots on social media.
Boom! The celebrity’s career is on the line!
Just laidat! 😥😥
Don’t forget it is “her” word against his. And because rape accusations make people emotional and initially illogical, the falsely accused celebrity is humiliated all over social media. Some activists could call for his arrest. But while all this is happening, the crushing damage to his career will keep going on until he is proven innocent by a competent court, if ever.
There is one more challenge: the false accuser may or may not be caught!
Some celebrities could choose to settle out of court if they wanted to avoid the image destruction, and then the lady, would use the opportunity to extort him and milk him dry. To some people, it is just business. Simple.
Therefore, it is time for every male celebrity to be very careful and prayerful as well, because the same groupies that would patrol the corridors of your hotel room after an event begging for a photo (to put on Instagram) or to suck your dick, would be the same persons that could falsely accuse you of rape and extort your spinal cord.
This doesn’t mean that genuine rape victims should not come forward. It is simply a call to every man out there, especially public figures, to be very careful.
Say no to rape!
+++Impossibility is nothing. Just believe+++
© Caséy Amaefule ’20