Rape: False Accusers Should Be Punished Too

For a while now the topic of rape has been trending on almost all social media platforms. From the rape and brutal murder of 22-year old Uwa in a place that would be considered to be one of the safest places to the defilement of a 3-month old baby in Nassarawa state, it is clear that our women and children are not safe in the society and urgent attention needs to be paid to curb this huge societal menace. But just as we call for strict punishment for rapists, I think we should do the same thing for false accusers.
Many people have found their voice on this issue of rape calling out many men, including celebrities in the process, the most current of them being the Oliver Twist Crooner, D’banj who is yet to clear his name from the rape charges leveled against him. Other Nigerian celebrities called out are Oluwadolarz, Zoro, Israel (Davido’s P.A), and others. Many people even anonymously shared their rape experience on our anonymous and interactive forum.
I am not saying that the people called out are innocent. Personally, in an issue as serious as sexual abuse, in whatever form it might present itself – rape, harassment, or defilement, I’d first identify with the victim before any other person. But judging by the outcry of the male gender, because it is women who are mostly raped, I think the victim could either be the accused or the accuser. So it’s best to allow investigations to be carried out by the justice system to determine who the true victim is. Sadly, our justice system is not so reliable, making matters worse but that’s a topic for another day.
The main issue is, among those who have found their voices, how many are genuine? I’d like to think that an issue as serious as rape should not be used to chase clout! I mean, why would anyone think to falsely accuse a person of rape just for the sake of clout or just to rip off the person financially or even as a means of revenge.
false-rape-accuser-casePhoto: DaYsO/Unsplash
Let’s talk about what false accusation of rape does to a person. It affects them psychologically, socially, and otherwise. Even before the person is declared innocent by the court, society would have tagged him as a rapist, and he’d have to struggle with a tarnished image. How about the fact that not everyone will be aware of the fact that he didn’t actually do the crime? How about the ostracization and stigmatization he’d have to face from society? How about his family? What if your false accusation drives him to commit suicide? Please do think about these ripple effects before you think to falsely accuse someone of rape.
If you are falsely accused of rape, know your rights and what the law states. Get a lawyer to represent you in court and present whatever evidence you have that can help clear your name. I strongly support that sexual assaulters be punished up to the maximum penalty the law permits but so should false accusers too.
Have you been falsely accused of any crime at all? How did you feel about it? What steps did you take in clearing your name? Be kind enough to share your experience in the comment section so that others can learn from it.
Amarachi Ezeibekwe
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