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Study: At least 17m Nigerian women have experienced sexual violence

Study: At least 17m Nigerian women have experienced sexual violence
October 12
16:56 2020

More than 17 million Nigerian women have experienced sexual violence, a report by Dataphyte Nigeria has revealed.

According to the report titled “Gender in Nigeria: An Advocacy Brochure”, which was done with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), female victims experience violence from as young as 15 years old.

Gombe tops the list of states with the most recorded cases, while Kebbi has the lowest number of reported incidents of sexual violence.

The report was based on “the most recent data on gender extracted from the larger compendium, Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) of 2018”.


“Not less than 17 million (9%) Nigerian women aged 15-49 have experienced sexual violence. And while 8 million (4%) said that they had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months before the survey, 4% of these women first experienced sexual violence before age 18,” the report read.

“Sexual violence prevalence ranges from 5% each in the North West and South West to 16% in the North East. Gombe State has the highest recorded cases of women who have experienced sexual violence with 45%; the prevalence is lowest in Kebbi with less than 1%.

“Perpetrators of sexual violence typically have a personal affiliation to the woman. So it could either be her current husband/partner; former husband/partner or current/ex-boyfriend. For single women who have never married, the main perpetrators are strangers.


“The number of women aged 15-49 who experienced sexual violence has increased from 7% in 2013 to 9% in 2018. Across all age categories, women that experienced sexual violence also increased from 3% in 2013 to 4% in 2018.”

The report also noted that most victims who had experienced violence during pregnancy are between the ages of 15 and 24, with prevalence in the north-east region of the country.

“The data further showed female divorcees, widows and separated (15% of them) were more likely to experience violence during pregnancy than married women (5% of them) and women who had never married (9% of them),” it read.

“Overall, the number of women aged 15-24 who have experienced violence during pregnancy has increased by 4.3% from 6% in 2013 to 10.3% in 2018.”


Dataphyte is known for collating and curating data from diverse sources and transforming them into machine-readable formats.


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