Aisha, a resident of Borno, a state in northeast Nigeria, at age 14 was kidnapped by Boko Haram members and taken into the forest. She was beaten for trying to escape days into her captivity and forcefully married off to one of the insurgents.
Aisha succeeded in escaping when her son clocked seven month and reunited with her sister but her experience of repeated rape and sexual violence while in the terrorist cell still haunts her.
Aisha is one of hundreds of women in Borno State who have been victims of sexual and gender-based violence and are receiving help from Milestone Rehabilitation Foundation.
The non-profit is currently implementing a project to get survivors healed and reintegrated with support from the African Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF).
The Legacy Fund is an Accra-based public charity that supports organisations in rebuilding communities affected by conflict and aiding transitional justice processes such as accountability, truth-seeking, and reconciliation.
Under the partnership, Milestone Rehabilitation Foundation is expected to provide a platform for displaced women and girls who have suffered sexual violence and exploitation as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency to share their experiences.
The women about 500 IDPs will also receive psychosocial support to set them on a path to long-term recovery.
Ten displacement camps in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, were selected by the non-profit for this project: Bakassi Camp 1, Bakassi Camp 2, Bakassi Camp 3, Bakassi Camp 4, Dalori Camp 1, Dalori Camp 2, EYN Camp, Farm Centre Camp, NYSC Camp, and Teachers Village Camp.
With the intervention of the Milestone Rehabilitation Foundation and ATJLF, girls like her finally have a safe space to share their traumatic experiences without guilt or judgment as well as access to badly needed medical and psychological assistance.