There is a growing body of work on violence against women of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin who live in the UK. This study adds to this body of work by exploring the nature of sexual violence experienced by Nigerian women both in Nigeria and England. It draws upon in-depth narrative interviews conducted with 12 women of Nigerian origin who had experienced sexual violence. Women’s accounts were analysed thematically. The women described experiencing different, sometimes multiple forms of sexual violence over the life course including, sexual abuse and female genital mutilation (FGM) in childhood, sexual assaults, rape, sex trafficking and sexual violence from an intimate partner. Drawing upon a feminist-intersectional theoretical framework this article illuminates how: (1) the intersection of age, gender, poverty, cultural socialisation and religious practice could provide the conditions for the perpetration of child sexual abuse, (2) patriarchal ideologies relating to gendered roles and expectations support men’s notion of uncontested sexual access to women, (3) men’s need to exercise power and control could contribute to women’s experiences of rape, and (4) the intersection of FGM and gender continue to disempower women within heterosexual relationships.
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