ColumnsHuman SexualityOpinionTiwa Savage Leaked Sex Video: Dealing with Blackmailers

Avatar PilotnewsOctober 11, 2021

To blame a victim of sextortion instead of dealing with the sextortionist is a clear sign of misplacement of priority.

Sextortion is the practice of extorting money or sexual favours from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity. It can also be called blackmail. Perpetrators of this act are called sextortionist. We have witnessed blackmailers leak the videos of victims upon their refusal to comply with their (the blackmailer’s) exploitative demands. To get these videos, some of these blackmailers go to great lengths to invade the victims’ privacy or disguise as a lover to get their victims to willingly release their sexual videos or take the video by themselves in the middle of a romantic affair.

According to Brooking Study, 71% of cases involve only victims under the age of 18. 14% involve a mix of minor and adult victims. 12% involve only adult victims, and nearly all adult victims are female, but both minor girls and boys are victimised.

Recently, the sex tape of an afrobeat musician, Tiwa Savage, was leaked after she refused to succumb to a blackmailer’s exploitative demand. Most times, when these videos are leaked, victims are faced with backlashes and questions that scream “IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT”. Questions like “why should there be a video in the first place?” Rather than dealing with the perpetrator, we focus on the victim, especially in Nigerian society.

To blame a victim of sextortion instead of dealing with the sextortionist is a clear sign of misplacement of priority. If we are so passionate to pass a bill against homosexuality because we firmly believe it is an abominable act, should we not be so passionate about handling sextortion? Or do we just, like hypocrites, select what suits our image and morals and despise the wellbeing of the citizens?

Ask the average victim about the reason behind their hesitation to make a police report and find out their fear of how they would be ridiculed and the matter taken lightly. This has been long-standing insanity in our society. If we proritised mental health in our society, there would be a pronounced move to suffocate the ideology of sextortion.

Concerning the blackmailer, ensuring they face some suitable consequences for their actions is important. However, we must understand that just punishing a criminal does not necessarily erase the crime itself. It is so easy to tag these blackmailers as wicked; but beyond the emotions, we must recognise that even as they face the consequences of their actions, they also need to be assisted with the service of a psychotherapist to facilitate a positive change in their behaviour.

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