top of page


Population size: 

206.2 million [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

23% of women have been victims of physical or sexual violence by a previous husband and 17.3% by another relative [2]

2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), approximately 31 percent of women aged between 15 and 49 had experienced some form of physical violence since age 15, and 14 percent had experienced physical violence in the 12 months preceding the survey. In a 2017 report, Nigeria's Gender Based Violence Sub-Sector Working Group (GBVSWG) indicates that "[o]ne in four ever-married women have reported having experienced at least one type of domestic violence such as physical, emotional or sexual violence by their husband or partner". [3]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

Reports only for North East Nigeria. The report shows that women may experience a greater risk of gender-based violence. Intimate partner violence may increase due to heightened tension in the household with food insecurity and quarantine measures. Stringent movement restrictions may prevent women from leaving their home at moments of violence or to move to places of refuge. However, there is a lack of statistical analysis available. [4]

Current law and policy:

Nigeria commits to protect the rights and dignity of women through campaigns, policies and programmes.

The Federal Government of Nigeria commits to strengthening laws and implementing strategic actions aimed at ending domestic violence. In this regard, the Government will broaden its campaign to sensitize the Nigerian public through family-oriented policies and programmes inter alia, aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. The Federal Government shall criminalize such acts as a deterrent measure as well. It shall moreover, broaden the implementation of National Gender Policy and the Child Policy and Plan of Action.

Speaking in March 2020 the governor of Ekiti state Dr Kayode Fayemi, said his administration would not relent on its ongoing war against all forms of gender violence. He declared that his administration had implemented an enabling legal framework that criminalised any issue bordering on gender inequality in the state. "Our government is serious and thorough about the implementation, and no mercy for whoever rapes, abuses, or molests any woman or girl child in Ekiti. The laws are there to take care of them...... All the laws put in place to achieve this will be thoroughly implemented." [5] In July 2020 the Ekiti government opened its first Sexual Assault referral centre. The centre aims to tackle rising cases of Sexual Gender Based Violence cases in the state. [6]

In June 2020, Nigerians started the #WeAreTired campaign after two young women, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa and Barakat Bello were raped and killed five days apart. Following the online campaign and nationwide protests by women's rights activists, all 36 Nigerian governors agreed to declare a state of emergency our gender - based violence against women and children. [7]

To reduce the cases of violence against women, Nigeria adopted in 2006 a Framework and Plan of Action for the National Gender Policy. Following this the Federal and State governments adopted several legislative and policy instruments including the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015, which prohibits all forms of violence against persons in both private and public life. In 2011 Ekiti State passed a law on gender-based violence, which recognised economic abuse as a form of domestic violence. The law also established a gender-based violence fund to provide, material support for victims of gender-based violence.

Lagos State passed the Lagos State protection against domestic violence law in 2007, whilst it recognises economic abuse, it does provide a similar fund as Ekiti state.

Nevertheless, there are significant cultural and enforcement challenges in efforts being made to end violence against women in Nigeria. [8]



[1] Worldometer, “Nigeria Population (Live)”, (



bottom of page