7 Reasons Why Victims of Rape Don’t Tell

March 7, 2016

Sex is a topic that even in this day and age isn’t so openly discussed in Nigeria; and rape even much less than that.

In an article for Aljazeera, writer and broadcaster Wana Udobang talks about her experience at Lagos’ only support center, the Mirabel Center at Lagos University Teaching Hospital. It’s the only one in a city of about 18 million people and in an ironic twist, it is miniscule, which basically describes how seriously we take rape issues.

rape victim


As much girls and women that bravely come forward to report their perpetrator, a lot more choose to keep silent.

Has it ever made you wonder why? Victims don’t report their rape, and it’s for different and personal reason.

Social stigma

We are in a society that often times blames the victims. Responsibilities are placed on women to not get raped, instead of on men –not to rape. In a society where virginity is revered, girls and women who are victims of rape are often times seen as damaged goods.

Self blame

Survivors often don’t open up because they think they did something wrong or didn’t do something right. Quite simply, they blame themselves. They assume there is something they could have done to stop the abuser. They regret what they did or what they did not do.


Some girls that do get the courage to talk are either told they are lying or shunned into keeping quiet about it.


In the mind of the survivor, there is much to fear. They are afraid of what will happen when they tell, if they’ll be believed, if they’ll I be supported.




Some survivors do not tell to protect themselves and their families; it’s especially true with children. Perpetrators often tell them that if they talked, they would kill their loved ones.

Corrupt legal system

The Nigerian legal system is time consuming at best and corrupt at worst. Money will most times exchange hands, and those with power often emerge unscathed.

Life goes on

As Wana said, “For many survivors, the slow judicial process adds to the trauma – they want to be able to move on with their lives rather than having to relive what happened to them over and over again.”

Wana wrote about the 5 brave girls that chose to speak about their ordeal. But they still face problems. One of the girls, Halima, was raped by her landlord’s son. Her father, in a bid to keep their accommodation, chose to let the perpetrator go unpunished.

Nike pressed charges, but the police officers gave her home address to the parents of the man who raped her and they are trying to settle the case out of court.

Mary was raped by a choirmaster from her church, her family was excommunicated when she chose not to keep silent.

What can be done?

condemn rape


The Mirabel Center is funded by DFID, the UK’s Department for International Development. Funding ends this year and so far the future of the center’s existence doesn’t look so bright. Most companies don’t want to be associated with such cause.

As they saying goes, charity begins at home. We don’t have to wait for them to do something, when we as individuals of privilege can do something about it.

Send your donations to:

Partnership for Justice,
Standard Chartered Bank
Ikeja, Lagos


Visit GoFundMe here: SaveMirabel

Let’s save Mirabel.

Featured image: DivaDocSpeaks.


Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

More from Oldies

May 27, 2021

Children’s day, a day set apart for kids. Like they don’t win at life already? You’re not paying bills or rent and you have a day to celebrate yourself? Get me their manager, please. On days like this, we can’t help but remember how good we used to have it so we wrote this article […]

February 12, 2020

Forget Tunji and Daniella, if you’re wondering who your best friend is, it’s most definitely the phone you’re either reading this from or the phone that’s somewhere within your vision; we know this because you’re definitely a phone addict that gets a little impatient when you’re too far away from your phone. Okay, let’s not […]

February 8, 2020

Yes, Valentine’s Day is almost here. Love notes, chocolates, hampers, and everything that comes with it. But while everyone is being hit by cupid’s arrow, there are some people who don’t even feel the hype. If you’re one of them, then grab a seat at this table. 1. You, when you hear that Valentine is […]

February 8, 2020

In case you have not realised it, Nigerians have a PhD in lying. Multiple PhDs, even. And there are some people who are professors in the art of lying, but we will keep that conversation for another day. Anyway, here is a list of common lies Nigerians tell. Don’t lie, we know you must told […]

February 8, 2020

Anyone who grew up in a Nigerian household understands that the Saturday routine does not change. It is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you are a true Nigerian, then you’ll understand these pictures and their connection to Saturday mornings. 1. Morning devotion by 6:00 AM. In which your parents can slap you for […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.