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Rejection and stigma – the painful actuality for kidnapped Boko Haram ‘wives’ after they escape


Ijanada along with her daughter Warasini when she was a child.(Photo: Open Doors International)

Each 12 months 1000’s of ladies in Nigeria are kidnapped and compelled into intercourse slavery by Islamic extremist teams.

Some escape captivity however for a lot of, their trauma solely continues once they return to the villages and cities they grew up in.

Agnes, who was kidnapped alongside her two pals, was crushed so badly by her captors that she was typically left unconscious.

Her pals had been killed whereas Agnes was allowed to reside. But when she lastly managed to flee and return to her group, she did not obtain the welcome she had anticipated.

Agnes says, “The day I discovered freedom, I felt a lot pleasure in my coronary heart.”

But that feeling quickly light as a brand new realisation dawned. When Agnes ran from the Boko Haram encampment, she had managed to seek out her method to a village close to her residence. There, troopers picked her up and took her to a camp the place they advised her she could be collected by her household.

She waited.

“I started to surprise,” she says. “I stayed with the troopers, however no person of my household cared to return and decide me.

Boko Haram kidnap survivor Agnes John.(Photo: Open Doors International)

“Nobody got here to see me. My mum and pop had been too far-off, in one other city.

“But even family and pals who had been staying close by refused to return and welcome me, as a result of they had been relating to me as a ‘Boko Haram spouse.’

“They had already condemned me.”

Eventually Agnes did get residence however the estrangement she felt from her group was nearly an excessive amount of to bear.

She says, “After I had returned residence, I refused to step out of the home due to the way in which folks had been speaking about me.

“I wasn’t proven any love in any respect. No one got here to greet me. All they did was to chuckle and sigh with contempt.

“At that time I advised my sister that if I had recognized that that is how I might be handled, I might have remained within the forest or would quite be lifeless.”

Sadly, her expertise is not a one-off.

Ijanada is one other Christian girl who confronted the identical shock when she was capable of return to her household after her abduction. She had been kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters and forcefully married off to a soldier when she was simply 16.

Ijanada had spent almost 4 years in captivity earlier than she managed to flee. During the interval of her abduction, she gave start to slightly boy known as Luka and have become pregnant along with her second youngster, a daughter, Warasini.

When she lastly noticed her likelihood to flee, she was rejected from the folks she grew up with.

Ijanada says, “I used to be not welcome. Most folks stored mocking and insulting me.”

Open Doors’ trauma care employee Tirham says that girls who develop into pregnant after being raped or pressured to marry Boko Haram troopers can typically wrestle to like the youngsters born to them.

Luka and Warasini(Photo: Open Doors International)

She says, “Often when girls give start to their infants, they really feel they don’t seem to be a part of them.

“They have a look at the youngsters as if they’re the perpetrators. The kids too are rejected by the group in addition to the mom.

“Because the moms really feel the kid is the article of their issues, they hit them and look down on them.”

But for Ijanada, she discovered the energy by no means to permit her trauma to outline her relationship along with her kids.

She says, “I’ve all the time cherished my kids – despite the fact that folks inform me that they’re kids of the enemy. Everything that God makes is gorgeous.”

And though Boko Haram means ‘Western schooling is forbidden’, Ijanada is decided that her expertise will not cease her from persevering with her schooling.

She says, “I’ve been capable of end my secondary faculty, and I wish to go to a higher-level schooling.

“I might like to proceed my research, however I lack monetary potentialities.

“Please pray that God will open doorways for me. Also pray that my kids will develop up in God’s picture.”



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