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Sexual violence in northeast Nigeria

Understanding women and girls associated with armed groups and children born out of sexual violence

This joint research project with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria aimed to understand some of the negative ramifications for female survivors of, as well as children born out of, sexual violence by Jama’atul ahl al-sunnah li da’awati wal jihad – commonly known as Boko Haram – on returning home.

Women and children have suffered from large-scale abduction, recruitment and sexual violence during the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. It remains unclear how they are being supported and how they are viewed by their communities when they return, and what impact this is having on their welfare and reintegration back into society.

This research, entitled Bad blood, shares first-hand accounts from women and girls about their experience of returning home and the challenges they face. This includes the support services provided for them, the perceptions of other community members towards them, and their desires to move from the internally displaced persons camps back to their local communities.

It also provides clear recommendations for government authorities, the international community and local organisations in addressing both the short- and long-term needs of those displaced by violence in northeast Nigeria.