This report is based on field research and telephone interviews carried out in Abuja, Lagos, and Yola, Nigeria between June and August 2014, as well as the monitoring and analysis of media reports, academic works, and transcripts of videos and statements released by Boko Haram. The report documents the abduction of women and girls by Boko Haram, highlighting the harrowing experiences of some of the abducted women and girls.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 46 women and girls, ranging in age from 15 to 38. Of this number, 30 women and girls had been abducted, and 16 were witnesses to abductions between April 2013 and April 2014. The 46 victims and witnesses were identified with the assistance of Nigerian civil society workers. Human Rights Watch researchers also spoke with social workers, members of Nigerian and international non-governmental organizations, social analysts and various experts, diplomats, journalists, religious leaders, and state and federal government officials.

Interviewees were informed about the nature and purpose of the research and how the information they provided would be used. Human Rights Watch obtained consent for each of the interviews. No incentives were provided in exchange for their interviews, which were conducted in private settings, and in the interviewee’s local language. Many interviews were conducted through an interpreter. Researchers tried to ensure that the interviews did not further traumatize the interviewees and, when possible, gave referrals for medical care and psychological support. Interviewees were told they could stop the interview at any time. The names of the women and girls have been withheld for security reasons.