As early as August 2014, a social commentator for the Nigerian Vanguard noted the possibility of Stockholm syndrome manifesting in the Chibok girls, students who were kidnapped by Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. With Stockholm syndrome, the fear that comes with being kidnapped is replaced with another emotion. This is a huge possibility for young girls who were seized as teenagers and may have spent years in the clutches of the terrorist group.

 

Women react during a protest demanding security forces to search harder for 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram Islamist militants

(REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that a captive who was rescued from Boko Haram believes she is in love with one of the fighters who abducted her.

 

The Thomas Reuters Foundation reports that Zara John, rescued from Boko Haram captivity last year, still longs for her Boko Haram husband. She may not be alone; apparently, girls in refugee camps were staying in touch with fighters — even after they had been rescued. Although the liberated girls and women give valuable insight into the inner mechanisms of the terrorist group, it does seem as though adequate psychological help has not been given to them.

 

In the past, there have been raging debates on providing abortions to rescued girls and women who were pregnant. However, much less has been said about mental health support available to them. Most people suffering from mental illness in Nigeria go without professional help. The situation is even more dire in areas affected by Boko Haram which tend to be poorer. Nigeria is yet to implement a wholesome strategy on rehabilitating victims of Boko Haram violence, including rescued girls.

 

How do you think the Nigerian government can adequately provide for rescued captives? Leave a comment below or tell me on Twitter @rafeeeeta