Effect of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence

Author: PERL

Gender-based Violence (GBV) refers to physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, threats, coercion and economic or educational deprivation based on gender. Common forms of GBV within Nigeria include child marriage, female genital mutilation, emotional and psychological violence, physical violence, rape, sexual harassment, and socio-economic violence. Estimates suggest that nearly 3 out of 10 Nigerian women experience physical violence by age 15. Furthermore, 6 out of every 10 Nigerian children experience some form of physical, emotional, and sexual violence before the age of 18. Two-thirds of children who are victims of violence and abuse never speak out, while only 4 out of 100 receive any form of support. Gender-Based Violence does not only affect women and girls. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 boys in Nigeria experience sexual violence before the age of 18 and some estimate that these figures may be closer to 1 in 6 boys. Moreover, a study on the prevalence of sexual abuse among male secondary school adolescents found that the overall prevalence of sexual abuse was 29%. Forcing boys to watch pornography constituted the most common form of non-contact sexual abuse, while the most common form of contact sexual abuse included being touched or fondled sexually. Over half of the victims were abused at the perpetrator’s home.