Violence Against Women

Since its inception in 2010, CHELD has worked on the challenge of violence against women in Nigeria, focusing particularly on domestic violence.  Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women are reported to be of epidemic proportions. Certainly, the number of cases where we have intervened in, and provided support for, are an indication that this a hidden but pervasive problem in Nigeria.

Violence against Women, including domestic violence and abuse, is human rights violation which impacts the health of individuals (particularly women) and has high economic costs for the society. Although it is hard to put concrete figures on the incidence of domestic violence and abuse in Nigeria because of the silence that often surrounds it, the prevalence of domestic violence in Nigeria high. Domestic violence is a silent killer that has taken the lives of many people in Nigeria, particularly women.

The link between violence against women, or gender-based violence and health is well documented. Violence against women, taking the form of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment in the workplace or harmful traditional practices constitutes a significant health challenge with considerable rates of mortality and morbidity.  The health problems that are a direct or indirect result of gender-based violence include:  Physical wounds, stabbings, lacerations, swelling, fractures, burns and scarring are a common result of physical violence. But the health outcomes of gender-based violence go beyond the direct result of physical violence. These may be physical, psychological or mental health outcomes.

Physical outcomes include such adverse effects as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS, miscarriage, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, chronic pains, headaches, and temporary or permanent physical disabilities. Mental health outcomes include post-traumatic stress disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction and obsessive compulsive disorders. Women may also indulge in self-destructive behaviours as a result of violence.  These include unhealthy behaviours such as drinking excessively, smoking and engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse. Gender-based violence can also have fatal consequences.  These include suicide, homicide, maternal mortality and infant mortality.

In Nigeria, several of the incidents that make it to frontline news reporting are reports of homicides committed by intimate partners.  The recent case of TitilayoArowolo, the banker who was killed by her husband, is a prominent example.  Yet others like Mercy’s case, which CHELD was involved in managing, included the murder of her two year old son, and the grievous harm to the woman by burning with a hot pressing iron.

As part of our interventions in the area of Violence against Women we have developed some tools to fill certain vacuums.  These are identified below

  1. Conversations on Domestic Violence
  2. Online Domestic Violence Resource Centre
  3. The Red Diary
  4. Legislation

CHELD is an active participant in advocacy efforts to enact laws protecting women, girls and others from violence,  including the Violence (Prohibition) Bill. Further, one of CHELD’s goals is to provide access to all health and health-relevant legislation. CHELD is currently engaged in a mapping and analyses of legislation on violence against women (gender-based violence) in Nigeria.  In addition, CHELD provides the full pdf copies of all extant domestic violence legislation in Nigeria on CHELD’s Online Domestic Violence Resource Centre.



CHELD provides referral services to other organisations, including the National Human Rights Commission, Police, the Office of the Public Defender, hospitals, rape centres where available,  and other organisations in other parts of Nigeria.  Please consult The Red Diary for a list of other organisations that work on gender-based violence.


Training Programs

CHELD provides training programmes for persons working on interventions, organisations interested in managing staff-related issues around domestic and other kinds of violence on domestic violence and other kinds violence.


Policy Development

CHELD provides advice on policies on gender-based violence, including workplace policies. Our team has expertise in public health policy at the highest levels of policy making and has advised big and small organisations on policy issues. The Executive Director, DrCheluchiOnyemelukwe-Onuobia, is currently on the Technical Working Group developing Nigeria’s new National Health Policy.


 Legal Advice

CHELD provides free legal advice to persons affected gender-based violence. This is, however, tailored to personal situations based on specific information provided to CHELD. Information provided on this website may be helpful, but it is not legal advice and reliance on this is at one’s own risk and cannot expose CHELD to legal liability.



CHELD provides counselling on gender- based violence.  If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation or has been violated by gender based violence, please contact us on (+234) (0)8103235860


 Material Support

CHELD provides financial assistance, aid in paying hospitals bills related go violent acts against clients, phone credit for reaching necessary support and other material support. Due to limited resources, however, this support is necessarily limited. We encourage you to support our work in this regard.



CHELD publishes academic articles on violence against women in Nigeria, newspaper articles, resources, and blogs on this site and our Online Domestic Violence Resource Centre. We aim, through these forums, to create awareness, suggest legal, policy and programmatic  solutions.



CHELD organises writing competitions among young people annually. The results are announced and prizes awarded each year on March 16th each year to celebrate International Women’s Day.  The aim is to promote awareness of issues around gender-based violence among young people.

We welcome every effort to support our work in any of these areas, including but not limited to volunteering, and financial support. Please visit our Online Domestic Violence Resource Centre and download the Red Diary.

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