Is Violence Against Women in Nigeria Under-reported?

Posted April 30, 2013 from United Kingdom

Fellow Nigerians, It feels really good to connect here with you all.

I am a social worker and during my practice, i have met clients who although being victims of domestic violence rather not report it because of fear of portraying the husband in bad light. Some women even feel that been beaten up by ones mate shows that the man loves and values them.

Recently, i had a discussion with 3 men who said that "violence against women and gender inequality are not Nigerias problem," they went on to say that as long as the family is together and the children are raised by both parents in the same household then there's no point letting the world know whether she (the wife) is happy or not.

In a community i presently work with in Lagos, i met a 12 year old girl who was raped by a 70 year old man. It took a while to reach out to her, after we connected, she confided in me that living in the same house with the man who abused her was very traumatic for her. I spoke with the parents about moving out of the house and seeking redress in the justice systems and they responded simply by saying "that matter has been settled!" I felt like i have failed the girl, myself and my profession.

Has anyone else experienced similar challenges?

I am seeking your opinion about these issues and how we can bring them to the lime light and curb it.

Anxious to read your thoughts.

Comments 4

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  • Obisakin Busayo
    Apr 30, 2013
    Apr 30, 2013

    Dear Vweta, This is the story all over in Nigeria, Recently a 5 yrs old girl was gang raped by two boys of 15 and 16. Immediately the case was reported to my NGO office, I went straight to the police station, took the girl to the hospital not minding the cost. When the police wanted to mess up the case, It was like I was a mad woman in the police station that day not minding that my life could be at a serious risk. After I have made a lot of progress, the mother of the girl just called me the third day that I should drop the case, that the parent of the boys have been begging her, bringing all kinds of influential people to her. My spirit went down and I cried so much, this has been the trends and it is not far from the fact that getting justice for victims of rape is not easy at all in Nigeria. We just finished a case of a 9 yrs old girl raped by her teacher, despite all the evidences on ground, we eventually lost the case, the judge saying there are no enough evidence. You cant believe it, it was the proprietress of the school where the incident happened who got lawyers for the rapist. why? she did not want her school to be affected. IT IS SO SAD!! My encouragement is we keep on doing all we can and not throw in the towel.

    Love Busayo

  • Vweta
    Apr 30, 2013
    Apr 30, 2013

    Its even worse because we never put the feelings of the victim into consideration.

    We never stop to think how the incident has affected the child.

    We are only concerned about getting it done and over with forgetting that some wounds never heal.

    For one, we can continue making lots of noise about it, until we draw the attention of the law makers, government, civil society and international community to these issues. It has to stop!

    May 08, 2013
    May 08, 2013

    I would say yes, violence against women is under reported due to the stigma that is associated with such acts. women/girls would rather keep silent than have to deal with the public embarassment that follows.


  • MaNnenna
    Jul 06, 2013
    Jul 06, 2013

    Dear Vweta I will like to thank you for the job you are doing for these women everyday and I also thank women all over the world, who are fighting for women's rights and equality. As a child, i was sexually assaulted. It is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. I am in my late tweenties and i still remember that incident like it was yesterday. We as women must strong, keep bring this issues to light and pray that justice will prevail.