By John Cole – Freetown
A famous Sierra Leonean artist, songwriter and anti-rape activist Fantacce Wiz Kamara was allegedly attacked and narrowly escaped raped from one of her work patner in the entertainment industry, according to her post and video on Facebook dated September 6th 2016 in Freetown Sierra Leone.
In response as to why she Chooses to protect her attacker or going to the police?, Fantacce stated that the reason she Choose not to initialy speak publicly about her sexual assault is she was afraid of the stigma that comes with being a sexual assault victim in Sierra Leone, Fantacce also said she is unwilling to name and press charges against the man who assaulted her because people will dismiss her claim and the police will not be of any help either.
Fantacce’s decision to publicly discuss her sexual assault has been the subject of social media gossip, conspiracy theories, questions and more questions. While, understandably, it must be extremely difficult for rape victims to speak about their experiences, Fantacce is an anti rape activist who is know for her stance on women’s rights, she is not a common person in society. Known for her outspoken, confident public image and her ability to fight for the rights of other women make her decision in not namng her attacker, in itself a strong statement.
We must also set the record straight that majority of women who are attacked neither speak about their experiences, nor report them to the authorities. The reasons for this include fear that they will not be believed, that their personal lives will be subject to scrutiny and judgement. It is a physical and emotional trauma that a lot of women suffer in silence, worried that they will be seen as the cause of their own attack . While Fantacce now feels able to speak about what happened to her, making the claim on Facebook a public platform, maintaining the anonymity of her attacker is not only inconsistent, but also downright irresponsible.
It perpetuates the idea that rape is part of the male privilege, positioning guilty men above puishment, and suggests that female victims should consider their attacks something that they must just quietly accept
Fantacce should realise that as a public figure she can lead by example, and is now in a position to offer strength to women who are living in silence, wrongly convinced that this is their shame. She has no obligation, of course, she is an individual, but as she courts the media she must realise that by now refusing to name her attacker she is fuelling misogynistic attitudes that encourage the dismissal of rape allegations as nothing more than a form of attention seeking, meaning that in actual fact it will become harder for women to come forward, fearing a disblieving reception.