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Nigerian Officials Are Planning on Treating Kidnapped Girls for the Effects of Sexual Abuse

Buzzfeed has posted this heartbreaking story about the sexual abuse that the Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are almost certainly being subjected to. Warning, it’s not an easy read.

“What is happening to the girls is an open secret: sexual abuse. We are preparing based on this assumption, which is almost a given,” Dr. Ratidzai Ndhlovu, the country representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), told BuzzFeed.

Teams from the UN and NGOs on the ground are currently working with Nigerian officials to determine how best to offer treatment for the physical and psychological needs that the girls will have after being raped by members of the Islamist rebel group, should they be freed. Along with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, officials are concerned about the long-term emotional and psychological damage inflicted on the victims—particularly in a country where rape carries social stigmas. The issue has also sparked a new conversation about abortion among Nigerian officials. Though abortion is illegal in the country, some healthcare workers are attempting to have officials make exceptions for the girls, and provide them with the abortions …

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