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Escapee Schoolgirl Opens Up: ‘We Were Sexually Abused In Sambisa Forest’


Escapee Schoolgirl Opens Up: ‘We Were Sexually Abused In Sambisa Forest’

One of the 57 Chibok schoolgirls who managed to escape after being abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists has opened up over an   alleged sexual harassment even as she expressed worry on ordeal the over 200 remaining girls may be passing through in their 57 days of being in captivity.
According to LEADERSHIP, the girl, who is about 19 years old, in Maiduguri said that she has been sexually abused even in the few days she spent in Sambisa forest.
“They are not nice people as they claimed to be; they were doing a lot of bad things to us when we were there…they made me suffer pains on my breasts, I had to be given medication before I got better when I escaped back home”, said the girl.
The 19 -year -old girl was together with some of her escaped colleagues when she agreed to speak, but all of them sought anonymity because of the stigma and the sensitive nature of the matter.
One of the girls, names withheld, who said she jumped off the trucks while they were being taken away from Chibok, said the girl in question came with bruised and swollen nipples, an injury she sustained when “the members of Boko Haram were forcefully cuddling her; but she refused to allow them to rape her”.
The girls spoke to LEADERSHIP shortly after they had underwent a two -day psychological counselling, organised for them by a Kaduna-based non-governmental organisation, the Interfaith Mediation Centre. The NGO is supported by the United States Agency for International Development. (USAID).
The ‘abused’ girl said she now felt better after the counselling exercise, as she was able to offload the weight of trauma that had prevented her from sleeping at night.
She said, “Each time I see a man that is not related to me, I feel angry and sometimes scared; I hated myself sometimes because of what I passed through; but I feel relieved after the women in the counselling group talked to us and made me feel I have no problem at all”.
The Chibok schoolgirl said sometimes she would burst into tears when she start to imagine what her mates that are still in captivity are going through by now.
She said, “I fear they should not give in to them and agree to marry them. “Some of them were rough and unkind, they talked to us harshly, while some that pretended to be nice, would say they don’t need to shout to us; they would tell us that we should be calm, that they would not harm us but make us good Muslim women and then marry us to the men we love in the camp.
“They use to offer us plenty of food and sweet things into order to convince us; but at night some others would be harassing us; it was at that point that I and few other girls decided to flee when they asked us to go and fetch water for cooking”.
The Interfaith Mediation Centre, led by Pastor James Woye and Imam Mohammed Ashafa had on Thursday rounded off their counselling exercise for the girls and had since returned to Kaduna.
The NGO has also been directed by Borno State government to scout for reputable schools outside Borno State where the 57 escapee schoolgirls would be transferred in order to repeat their final year class and take their interrupted WAEC and NECO exams

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Victor Ndah

May God help us bring back our girls…


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