Sisters Yagana, 21, Yakaka 19 and Falimata, 14, were all abducted and held captive by Boko Haram until they escaped. “After invading Bama, the Boko Haram insurgents came to my
house, one of them saw me and said, ‘I want to marry you.’ I said, ‘I will not marry you. My parents will not give me to you. Then he said, ‘O.K., that is easy. Let me kill them, so that you
will now be the one to decide.’ We got married in the Sambisa forest. Three months later, my husband was killed. I was pregnant by that point.”
Women and children at a bombed-out former government election office that was converted into an unofficial refugee camp in Maiduguri.
Hauwa, 17, was abducted by Boko Haram when she was 15. The militants killed her parents when they refused to give her hand in marriage. “I was terrified,” said Hauwa, recalling that night in September 2014. Along with about 20 other girls, many of them friends and classmates, Hauwa was taken to one of the militants’ camps deep within the 200-square- mile Sambisa Forest.
Dada, 14, escaped with her child, born of a Boko Haram fighter, just over a year ago. “I never
considered him my husband,” said Dada. “I felt like a living ghost. I was not afraid to escape, being alive in that camp was already the worst thing that could happen to me.”
Fourteen-year-old twin sisters Hassana and Hussaina, were abducted and held captive by Boko Haram until they escaped.
Aisha A., 15, holds her 1-year- old daughter Hadiza, who was born in captivity. “I was abducted from my home in the evening,” said Aisha A. “I’d been married just a week earlier. The insurgents nullified that marriage, and I was remarried to an insurgent. My baby was born in the bush.”
Maimuna, 16, has a 6-month-old son, born of a Boko Haram fighter
Hussaina, 14, visits her sister Aisha, 17, at her small home in Maiduguri. “Any time the
insurgents suspected we were planning an escape, they would refuse us food so we would be
weak and not make any attempts to escape,” said Hussaina of her time in the forest.
A mosque under construction in Maiduguri.
Balkisu, 16, was abducted when she was 14. She was held captive for about 15 months in the
bush. “My friend died while giving birth. When I saw her die, I decided to escape,” said Balkisu.
“When I got home, I discovered I was carrying a dead child.”
Aisha, 17, comforts her 8-month- old son Mohammed, born of a Boko Haram fighter in
Maiduguri, Nigeria. Five girls from her family were taken by the militant Islamist group, which
began its insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009.
Along the Ngadda River in Maiduguri, where some girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram have found refuge.