Interrogating the Causes, Effects and Societal Responses to Rape and Child-Defilement in Nigeria

  • Dr Janet Monisola Oluwaleye Ekiti State University
  • Ibironke Damilola Adefisoye Redeemer's University
Keywords: Rape, Child-defilement, Causes and effect, Societal Responses, Minors


Nigeria’s social landscape has been inundated by an alarming spate of rape and child defilement cases, so much more that there is hardly a week without media reports of rape in the country. Records released by the Nigeria Police Force shows that a total of seven hundred and seventeen cases of rape and child defilement were recorded in the first five months of the year 2020. More alarming is the defilement of minors and underage children by adults. The foregoing raises concerns and the need to interrogate the causes of alarming cases of rape and defilement of minors in Nigeria. The mixed methods research approach was adopted to generate both primary and secondary data. For the primary data, an online questionnaire was designed and administered to a total of two hundred and nine Nigerians across various sectors and regions of the country. Besides, six (6) key informants, each from the Ministry of Women, Legal Department, National Human Rights Commission, NGO, religious leader and media practitioners, were interviewed. On the other hand, government reports, gazettes, journal and newspaper articles were used to generate secondary data. Findings show that defilement of minors in Nigeria is perceived from a socio-cultural perspective as an avenue for money rituals. Other causes include mental disorders of perpetrators, alcoholism and substance abuse. Effects of such acts are physical and psychological. Recommendations on ways of curbing the menace include life sentences, name shame of perpetrators, and strict enforcement of existing laws prohibiting rape and defilement in the country.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Dr Janet Monisola Oluwaleye, Ekiti State University

Department of Political Science,

Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Ibironke Damilola Adefisoye, Redeemer's University

Lecturer, Centre for Gender, Humanitarian and Development Studies.
Redeemer's University, Osun State, Nigeria


Agbo, M. C. (2019). Child Rape in Nigeria, Implications on the Education of the Child. Children and Teenagers, 2(1), 13 – 31.

Akinwole, O. T., & Omoera, O. S. (2013). A Review of Literature: rape and Communication Media Strategies in Nigeria. African Journal Online. 1-2.

Akpoghome, T. U. & Nwano, T. C. (2016). Examining the Incidences of Sexual Defilement of Children in Nigeria. Donnish Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution, 2(1), 001-009.

Ali, Y. (2017). Defilement of Children, Roles of Parents, Guardians and Society. A Speech Delivered at the FIDA Ekiti Annual Week, Held at Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Court Premises, Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti, on 3rd August 2017.

Aruna, J. O. (2018). Trends in Child Sexual Molestation, Rape and Incest: A View from South-West Nigeria. Humanities and Social Science Letters, 6(4), 137-148.

CFCA, (2020). The Long Time Effects of Child Sexual Abuse. Australian Government, Australian Institute of Family Studies, CFCA Paper 11 – January.

Chiazor, I. A., Ozoya, M., Udume, M., & Egharevba, M. E. (2016). Taming the Rape Scourge in Nigeria: Issues and Actions. Gender and Behaviour, 14(3), 7764-7785.

Cybercrime (Prevention, Prohibition) Act 2015. Explanatory Memorandum.’Cybercrime_Prohibition_Prevention-etc-Act-2015.pdf

Eguagie, S. (2016). Why is There Too Much Rape in Nigeria Today? ANEEJ, 1st July. From

Ezeilo, J. N. (2020). The Scourge of Rape in Nigeria. ThisDAY. 30th June. From

Folorunso-Fransis, A. (2020). Experts Warn of Danger of Date Rape Drug – Urge Enforcement of Law on Access to Prescription of Medicine. Healthwise, 14th June. From

Igomu, T. (2020). Rape: A Costly Lifelong Burden. The Punch, Healthwise. 18th June from

Jude, U. (2020). Nigeria Country Report on Death Penalty Application. ILO. From

Lawpadi, (2020). Laws on Rape: What Every Nigerian Should Know. From

Theories and Etiology of Child Sexual Abuse by Males (n.d). AliExpress.

Nejo, A. (2020). Ekiti Names, Shames Another Convicted Rapist. The Punch, 22nd June. From

Odunsi, W. (2020). Security Guard Allegedly Rape Pastor’s 8-Year-Old Girl, Daily Post, 26th August, from

Ogundipe, S., Obinna, C., & Olawale, G. (2019). Rage Against Rape! Nigerians’ve Declared Zero Tolerance for Sexual Violence. Vanguard, 6th July. From’ve-declared-zero-tolerance-for-sexual-violence/

Ogunsile, R. (2020). Child Rape: Security Man Caught Defiling 8-Year-Old Daughter of a pastor in Delta. Naija News, 24th August. From https://www/

Omodan, B. I., & Tsotetsi, C. T. (2018). Student-Teacher Relationships as Panacea for Students' Academic Performance in Nigeria Secondary Schools: An Attachment Perspective. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 9 (4), 82-10.

Oseni, T. I. A., Lawani, O. E., & Oyedeji, A. I. (2016). A Case Study of Sexual Abuse of Minor. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 20(1), 109- 113.

Peace Over Violence (2020). Types of Sexual Violence. From

Phillip, H. F., & Ajanwachukwu, M. A. (2016). Perpetration of the Offence of Rape by Minors in Nigeria: A Call for Restatement of the Law. US-CHINA Law Review, 13(8), 585-596.

Premium Times (2020). Fayemi Signs Ekiti’s Sexual Violence Against Children Law. June 7. From

Premium Times, (2020). Nigeria Records 717 Rape Cases in Five Months- Official. June 16. From

RAINN (2020). Effects of Sexual Violence. From

SECASA (South Eastern Center Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence), (2015). Long Terms Effects, retrieved from

Salako, A. (2016). Why Child Defilement Cases Increase. The Guardian, 29th April. From

Shibayan, D. (2020). EXTRA: Ekiti Begins “Naming and Shaming” of Rapists. The Cable, 16th August. From

Sodipo, O. O., Adedokun, A., Adejumo, A. O. & Olibamoyo, O. (2018). The Pattern and Characteristics of Sexual Assault Perpetrators and Survivors Managed at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Lagos. African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, 10(1).

Terry, K. J. & Tallon, J. (2004). Child Sexual Abuse: A Review of Literature. The John Jay Research Team. Pp. 1-146. From,pdf

The African Child Policy Forum, (2013). Definition of the Child: The International/Regional Legal Framework. From Accessed on 2/9/2020

The New Humanitarian, (2008). Child Rape in Kano on the Increase. From https://www.thenewhumanitarian,org/fr/node/239836. Accessed on 9/9/2020

UNICEF, (2020). Child Protection. From

UNICEF, (2020). The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The Children’s Version. From

Usman, E. 2020). Father, employee Arrested for Defiling Minors in Lagos. Vanguard, 28th June. From

Ward, T., & Hudson, S. M. (2008). Filkelhor’s Precondition Model of Child Sexual Abuse: A Critique. Psychology, Crime & Law, 7, 1-4, 291-307.

Girls Project, (2020). What is Defilement? From

How to Cite
Oluwaleye, J. M., & Adefisoye, I. D. (2021). Interrogating the Causes, Effects and Societal Responses to Rape and Child-Defilement in Nigeria . Interdisciplinary Journal of Rural and Community Studies , 3(2), 11-22.