Following the increase in rape incidents in Nigeria, the Youth advocate for change organized a tweet chat to sensitize people on how to deal with rape cases on the theme “WEAPONIZING RAPE: DIFFERENTIATING FACTS AND FALSEHOOD.”
In other to reach a landmark and reaching out to people the organizer invited seasoned guests and professionals to discuss people weaponizing rape to get at the other gender.
Rape has become a buzz word on social media, even offline, this is because of the increase in the number of reported cases in recent times.
“While some cases have been contested in court, some have gone through various phases of media trial”
In a view to back her assertion, she refers to the case of a young Nigerian entrepreneur based in Florida, Izu Mmadubueze who committed suicide after being accused of rape and all attempts to clear his name proved abortive.
“Twitter Influencer, @DrOlufunmilayo was accused of rape by his (former) lover and the social media was agog analyzing the issue”
“The case of Seyitan @seyitannn_ and Dbanj @iamdbanj was another which generated various reactions on social media especially Twitter with so many backlashes from Rights activists, lawyers, and the survivor.”
In all of the cases explained above, the fact of the allegation was not proven in the court of law and there have been arguments on if the reported cases were facts or false.
While reaching a conclusion on the authenticity of the case is beyond mere assumptions, one wonders what is to be gained in falsely accusing an individual of perpetrating a heinous crime against a person, she said.
Dayo Emmanuel said “there should be a strong campaign to strengthen our forensic channels into investigating rape. Many innocent people (men/women) may become targets once there’s a strong penalty. Remember how the Biblical Joseph suffered wrongly”
Chizobia Akunne of youth Africa for change, profound a solution to hope rape cases could be reduced in the society.
“Rape cases can also be reduced when people are educated and supported to speak up when they are raped. Most times, people don’t speak up and they go through depression and traumatic experiences caused by rape. People must be encouraged to speak up”
The Lagos State Coordinator of Golden Oasis Spring Foundation, Helen Fat, in her opinion said: “rape among intimate partners is the biggest barrier in ascertaining if a rape case is false or true, especially if sexual intercourse has been activated in the past between the couple or acquaintances perceived to be in love with each other.”
She said while this will be difficult is that our African culture militates against women speaking against their partners on sexual grounds, our culture sees total submission as a virtue and ingredient for a happy home.
In a view to putting an end to rape cases and false accusation, the perpetrator should be charged to face the law while a thorough investigation is carried out to authenticate it beyond the mere assumption