11 Nigerian Women Talk About Being Coerced

September 15, 2021

Trigger warning: Abuse, rape. 

Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens when a person is being pressured, persuaded, tricked, threatened, or forced in a non-physical way. In this article, 11 Nigerian women talk about being coerced. 

Jumoke, 22

I met this guy online and the first time we met physically, I went to his house. I trusted him, and I felt comfortable around him. We had so much in common although he was almost ten years older than I was. 

Things were going smoothly when I got there, but as we were talking he said I was giving him “fuck me” eyes. I laughed it off. He said I should come and sit next to him. I did it because I wanted to kiss him. When I got closer, I told him I didn’t want to have sex. He agreed but then he tried to touch my breasts. I moved away and told him I felt uncomfortable. After a while, I told him I wanted to leave but he didn’t let me. He kept begging me to have sex with him. Eventually, I just let him do his thing. He even tore my trousers sef.

I saw him sometime after that happened, and I asked why he behaved like that. He said he didn’t know if he would see me again after that day. I was so annoyed I blocked him. 

Bella, 21

I had this male friend that I was close to. He was the kind of friend I could chill with. I was attracted to him, but it had never crossed my mind to do anything sexual with him. To me, we were just friends. One day, he asked me to come over. 

At his place, we watched movies. As we were watching a movie , I noticed his hand moving. I was confused and  asked what was happening. He said he had always been attracted to me. He said he didn’t want to have sex but we could make out. I said okay. We started kissing and then his hands were roaming. I thought he was the kind of person I could say no to, so I pulled away when it got too much. Then he started begging. 

It was so weird. He was persistent, and I didn’t want him to use force so I gave in. I didn’t enjoy it but he got what he wanted. After that, I stopped talking to him as much. I cried because I really didn’t want to have sex with him, but I moved on. 

Ndi, 23

Before I accepted my sexuality, I used to date men. I was dating this guy and the sexual aspect of our relationship was zero. He always wanted sex, but I never did. 

Even when I say no, he would keep begging until I give in. On days when I didn’t give in to sex, he would cajole me to give him a blowjob or do anything else to make him cum. It was after I left the relationship I realized all of it was abuse. 

Fayo, 25

I had a close guy friend. We used to talk every day, and he was the only one I shared my abuse story with. In 2017, I travelled to Ibadan, and he was also in town. 

We met up during the day and did some errands together. Towards the end of the day, he said he got me a gift but he forgot to bring it. He asked me to go with him to his aunt’s house to pick it up. The place was not far from my home, so it wasn’t a problem. 

In the house, we were gisting and then I noticed he was touching me. I stopped him and he started begging. He said I am the only one that got him and he needed me.  I kept saying no, but he was persistent. He was chasing me around the house because he had locked the door. I got scared that he would be violent, so I agreed. It was at the point of penetration he realised it was my first time. 

When he was done, he started begging for forgiveness. I told him it was okay. He asked me if our friendship was still good. I told him yes, but I knew it was done. I did not allow myself to think about what happened but I blamed myself because I felt I was too weak. It hurt more because he knew I was abused as a child but he didn’t care. I don’t have male close friends again. It is pointless. 

Limah, 26

I went to visit a friend of mine at his parents’ house. He told me he wanted to talk to me about something inside the security unit of the house, and I believed him. When we got there, he kissed me. I tried so hard to push him off but he kept forcing my mouth shut so I let him kiss me. The sex happened quickly. I blocked him immediately after I left. I felt bad because when he kissed me the first time, I liked it. I was turned off when he asked for sex and became forceful. He calls me with different numbers, begging me to forgive him but that will never happen. 

Tosin, 23

Most of my male friends when I was younger used to coerce me into sexual activities with them. One time, I was at a party with my friends. One of them kept asking to go with him to the bathroom so we could make out. When I started avoiding him, another joined, pleading with me to go with him instead. I kept saying no as I was trying to go downstairs, he blocked me. He didn’t let me go until I agreed. 

Bimbo, 21

I had a boyfriend in 2018. I spent a night in his house one time. Early the next morning, he wanted sex. I told him I couldn’t because I was on my period. He kept begging and it led to a struggle while we were still on the bed. I got exhausted and let him win. After he finished, he apologized. He said he did it because I made him angry. That was the last time he saw me in his house. 

Ria, 26 

I met this guy on Twitter and after a few days of talking, we decided to go on a date. We weren’t suited for a romantic relationship, so we settled into friendship. We tried to have sex once but it was terrible. I initiated it so when he asked, I felt weird saying no. It became a pattern. He coerced me for the entirety of our relationship. 

He’d rub his groin on me whenever I visited him at home. He would try to touch me no matter how many times I said no. One night after clubbing I insisted on going home because I didn’t want to be coerced. SARS arrested me that night. We eventually stopped being friends because he cut me off for something flimsy. 

It’s funny because, during the course of our friendship, I considered his house a safe space to be away from my mum. When I realised he hadn’t been a good friend and had been abusive, I felt betrayed mostly by myself. Working on forgiving myself and making sure I never excuse that kind of behaviour moving forward. 

Aura, 26

During NYSC, I met a guy I liked. At the time I was still very religious and I was trying to save myself for marriage. We didn’t talk about sex when we started hanging out. One day we were at his house, and we started kissing. When he started to take off my clothes, I told him I wasn’t ready and he got upset. He asked what I thought was going to happen when I followed him home. Nothing happened that night. But after that night, he kept pressuring me to have sex with him because “virginity meant nothing these days”.

One day, when I went over to see him, I noticed that he had locked the door and he was playing loud music. He tried to touch me but I hesitated. He suggested anal sex because technically I would still be a virgin. When he started getting angry, I agreed to do it.  I blocked him as soon as I left his house. I spent the next three days crying. 

Tokoni, 24 

In 2016, I was in my final year at Benin republic. I had missed my project defence date so I came back to defend with the summer students and graduate. I didn’t have accommodation for the night because the girl I had planned to stay with had not arrived. I was trying to sort that out when I saw my friend. I asked him if I could stay with him and he agreed. 

He put a bed in his living room for me. At night, I was working on my project. He came to join me on the bed and started touching me. I told him I wasn’t interested. He told me he had always liked me and I was the only person who was nice to him. He said a lot of things. He cried too. This continued till 5 a.m. Eventually, I gave in because I wanted to sleep. He is currently a gospel musician in Kaduna.

Boma, 20

In 2018, I met this guy. He wanted to date me but I had just gone through a bad breakup and I wasn’t ready for a relationship at the time. He was persistent — he kept asking for almost a year. Eventually, I told him we should go on a couple of dates to see if we would be good for each other.

He’s a sexual person, and I had been celibate for a while. I told him that if we dated, I wouldn’t have sex with him. He said he still wanted to be with me even if sex was completely off the table so we started dating. Things were good for a while. 

One time he came to visit me, he told me a story about his friend’s girlfriend who told his friend she had never had sex before but was secretly having sex with someone else. I didn’t say anything. Another day, he said a relationship wasn’t complete without sex. But I had a friend who was engaged but hadn’t had sex with her fiance. I told him about them so he’d see it wasn’t impossible. He said I wanted what my friend had and thus didn’t have a mind of my own. 

Whenever the topic came up, he’d bring up instances where one person was celibate and the other person wasn’t. One time he told me another friend of his was in a relationship with a virgin but was cheating on her because he couldn’t  live without sex even though he was madly in love with her. I ignored these things but one night, I went to see him and while we were kissing, he started touching me. I didn’t stop him because I was tired and I didn’t want to lose him. Luckily, I had planned with my sister to call me because I didn’t plan on staying long. Her call came in while he was fingering me. I told him I wanted to go and he asked me if I was sure I wanted to leave before he made me come. I said yes. I felt so dirty. When I got to my room I went straight to my bathroom and I scrubbed my body hard trying to get the ickiness off me. After that, I ended things with him. 

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Mariam Sule

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