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2014 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 1,386,000 people living in modern slavery in Nigeria (GSI 2018). Since 2009, Nigeria’s homegrown Islamist insurgent movement, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, which means “Western Education is Forbidden,” has waged a violent campaign against the Nigerian government in its bid to impose Islamic law. The attacks have increasingly targeted civilians, mainly in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. Borno State, the birthplace of Boko Haram, has suffered the highest number of attacks. A range of issues, including widespread poverty, corruption, security force abuse, and longstanding impunity for a range of crimes have created fertile ground in Nigeria for militant armed groups like Boko Haram.

Gloria was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014. She was forced to convert to Islam, was married off to an insurgent and subjected to sexual violence.

They told the Muslims to stand on one side and the four of us Christians to the other. They released the Muslims and kept us.

There were many women staying there. Some were already married to the insurgents, while others were forced to convert and then marry.

One of them raped me. I kept pleading for him to leave me alone because I had my baby, but he refused to listen and told me to put my baby down. So I put her down.

They warned us that when we get home we shouldn’t expose them by talking tto the media. They said if we do, they would track us down and deal with us.


Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch