Information on rape and how authorities and the society respond to allegations of rape [NGA16040.E]

According to information provided in Sisterhood is Global, rape is illegal under the Nigerian Criminal Code and is reportedly punishable by life imprisonment (Robin Morgan 1984, 496). A Nigerian professor of government at the University of Texas, in Austin, with expertise in Nigerian affairs, states that victims of rape are generally frowned upon. Nigerian society assumes that a raped woman is to blame for her situation, as a result she is ostracised and has no social support. In the case of a married woman, getting raped is grounds for divorce. In the case of an unmarried woman, her chances of marriage in the community where she was raped are virtually non-existent. The source states that the police do not take rape cases seriously and consequently women are discouraged from reporting rapes. He also stated that whether the police take action or not will depend on the status of the raped woman and her social connections. The police will take action if a woman has influential relatives but no attention is paid to women without high connections.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Professor of government specializing in Nigerian Affairs, University of Texas, Austin. 10 January 1994. Telephone interview.

Robin Morgan. 1984. "Nigeria," Sisterhood is Global." Edited by Robin Morgan. New York: Doubleday.