Violence Affecting Women & Girls Monthly Memo:
December 2014 Data
Published February 1, 2015
By Patricia Taft*
Violence Affecting Women & Girls Quarterly Reports
In December, the Nigeria Stabilization and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) Sources filter continued to generate more reports about Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) than any other source integrated onto the platform. By the end of 2014 there were 50 self-identified Agents of Peace focusing on issues of gender in the NSRP states. Rivers continues to have the most Agents of Peace, with 17 organizations currently listed. On the other end of the spectrum, there are currently no self-identified Agents of Peace in Yobe. After a small dip in reported incidents in November, numbers rose again in December. The trend of increasing overall violence in 2014 has continued into December with 24 incidents of VAWG reported and a total of 204 VAWG-related fatalities.
This memo covers the month of December (data coding and uploading lags by a month) for the eight NSRP States: Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta.
Scope and limitations: We recognize that the data collected is not a comprehensive tally of all incidents of violence, VAWG or otherwise. However, to the extent that the data is representative of the patterns and trends, findings are as indicated in the report below.
Overview of December 2014
The number of both reported incidents as well as the number of fatalities increased in December from the previous month. With December reporting included, 2014 surpassed all previous years measured since 2009 in both incidents reported and fatalities. Over the course of the year, 638 overall incidents were reported. The significant jump in fatalities in 2014 is directly related to the number of mass casualties that took place over the course of the year in multiple bombings and large-scale, insurgency-related, attacks. Borno state had the highest number both in terms of the total number of overall incidents as well as reports per capita. Delta state had the second highest numbers in both categories.
In order to measure the general public awareness of the VAWG initiative and P4P project, documenting traffic to the P4P website serves as a good indicator. Although there was a reduction in traffic during the months of October and November, it rose again in December. We expect this to continue to be the trend in January and February as the two new service points come online in the Middle Belt and the Niger Delta.
In December 2014, reoccurring incidents of violence against women and girls included abductions by Boko Haram and the use of female suicide bombers, specifically in Borno state. Instances of rape were prevalent in Kano state and Delta state in December. Also in Delta state, and Rivers state as well, there were many instances of women being killed as a result of domestic violence, cult group crossfire, or armed robberies.
The heat map on the first page shows the relative distribution of VAWG reports in the month of December 2014. The green stars show the location of self-identified Peace Agents focused on gender.
December Incidents by NSRP State
Below is a breakdown of issues reported in the month of January by each NSRP target state:
Borno State: In December, VAWG reports came from Maiduguri, Damboa, Askira/Uba, Gwoza and Kukawa LGAs. Maiduguri and Damoa remained the predominate areas of incidents, however, insurgency related casualties of women and children were also reported in Askira/Uba, Gwoza and Kukawa.
Abductions of women and girls was highest in Damboa, where it was reported at least 185 women and children were taken by Boko Haram on 18 December. A further 20 girls were reported taken on December 8 from Askira/Uba, and a young female and her two-year-old child were abducted in Kukawa on December 18. Heightened risks of female suicide bombings remained a concern, with reports of 52 trained female suicide bombers at large in Maiduguri. One female teenage suicide bomber was detained in Maiduguri while another three females carried out two attacks in a busy Maiduguri marketplace areas, reportedly killing at least 18.
Yobe State: Though civilian casualties from overall insurgency-related violence were reported, there were no specific targeted incidents of violence against women and girls reported in Yobe for December. However, this does not mean they did not occur.
Kano State: For the month of December, VAWG incidents were reported in Doguwa and Shanono. Instances dealt mostly with rape. There were two instances of violence against women and girls in Kano during the latter part of December. The first instance was reported to be in Doguwa on December 21 and was the gang rape of a 22-year-old woman. The second instance was reported to be in Shanono on December 28 as the abduction and sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl by a 37-year-old man. The girl reportedly became pregnant.
Kaduna State: A VAWG incident was reported in Kadunda South in December; specifically concerning domestic violence against a woman. The sole instance reported was of a middle-aged woman being cut by her husband with a machete.
Plateau State: There were no reported incidents related to VAWG from Plateau in December.
Delta State: VAWG incidents were reported in Oshimili South, Aniocha South, Ika South, and Ughelli North LGAs. One case of direct sexual violence was reported in Delta State in December. In Oshimili South, a trader apprentice of Ogbogonogo market was arrested for raping a 12-year-old girl. Also in Oshimili South, a food vendor chopped off her 10-year-old maid’s finger for stealing a piece of meat from a pot of soup. Additionally, a man was arrested in Oshimili South for abducting two 13-year-old girls for ritual purposes. In Aniocha South, three people including a pregnant woman were found dead with some of their vital body parts mutilated. In Ika South, a 10-year-old girl was murdered by armed robbers when they attacked her family house. Lastly, in Ughelli North three native doctors were arrested for performing illegal abortions on two female students of a secondary school.
Bayelsa State: There were no reported incidents related to VAWG from Bayelsa in December.
Rivers State: There was one VAWG incident reported in Abua/Odual LGA, in which a nursing mother and her child were killed in crossfire between cult groups.
* Kendall Lawrence and Hannah Blyth contributed to this report.