Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. An act or activity is sexual violence when:
- It is not done with consent: at least one of the partners did not agree to engage in the activity.
- And/or there is coercion: one of the partners is forced.
- And/or the partners are not equals. For instance: one partner has more power than the other, one of the partners is younger than 18 or has a disability.
Some forms of sexual violence are:
- Sexual harassment.
- Indecent assault and rape.
- Honour-based violence.
- Female genital mutilation.
- Forced prostitution.
- Forced marriage.
The person who commits sexual violence is most often known to the victim or a trusted person such as a family member, partner or friend. It can also be a stranger.
Sexual violence is forbidden by law in Nigeria and can be punished. There are never mitigating circumstances. This means that the judge will accept nothing as an excuse for sexual violence. For example, the victim's behaviour, how they are dressed, what they say or do are never an excuse for sexual violence.