Violence Against Children in Nigeria Survey 2014

The nationally representative household survey of 13-24 year olds provides estimates of the prevalence of sexual, physical, and emotional violence against
children, as well as information on the context in which such violence occurs. Using a multi-stage cluster design, the Nigeria VACS data collection included interviews with 1,766 girls and young women and 2,437 boys and young men. The combined response rate for the household and eligible respondent was 93%. The survey design yielded separate estimates for rates of violence among both sexes. Data from females and males aged 18-24 provide estimates of the prevalence of violence ever experienced in childhood, while data from 13-17 year olds estimate the prevalence of violence experienced in the 12 months prior to the survey. Similar to national surveys in several other countries on the continent and throughout the world, the results reveal that violence in childhood is a common reality and that the consequences can be severe and long lasting. In undertaking the VACS, the first national survey to examine patterns of violence against children, Nigeria has laid the foundation for vital prevention and response activities to protect vulnerable young people.

Name of data collection activity

Violence Against Children in Nigeria Survey 2014

Year(s) of Implementation




Frequency of implementation


Geographical Coverage


States Implemented

Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo, Ekiti, Gombo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, FCT

Program Area

  • HIV/STDs
  • Violence

Target group/Population of Interest

girls and young women and boys and young men aged 13 to 24 years

Population unit


Type of data collection activity


Sample size

1,766 girls and young women and 2,437 boys and young men

Sampling procedure

The sampling frame was originally compiled by the NPopC for the 2006 National Population and Housing Census. The primary sampling units (PSUs) were the enumeration areas (EAs) from the 2006 census, excluding 24 local government areas (about 2% of the population) due to political unrest. The sample size was determined from a standard cluster sample formula where the estimated prevalence of 30% for sexual violence in childhood was assumed based on previous VACS conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
A three-stage cluster sample survey design was utilized. In the first stage of selection, 353 EAs out of 662,529 EAs were selected with a probability proportional to size of the EAs (the EA size is the number of households it contains). In the second stage of selection, a mapping and listing team from NPopC visited all of the selected EAs to identify structures and households. The updated list with the names of the heads of households was given to the VACS team, and kept separate from the survey data. A fixed number of 20 households (per PSU) were selected by equal probability systematic sampling. In stage three, one eligible respondent (female or male depending on the selected EA) was randomly selected from the list of all eligible respondents 13 to 24 years of age in each household and administered the questionnaire. To calculate separate male and female prevalence estimates for violent victimization, a split sample approach was used. This means that the survey for females was conducted in different EAs than the survey for males. The split sample approach served to protect the
confidentiality of respondents and eliminated the chance that a male perpetrator of sexual violence and the female who was sexually assaulted in the same community would both be interviewed. The design also eliminated the chance that a female perpetrator and a male who experienced sexual violence from the same community would both be interviewed.

Data collection period

May 2014 – July 2014

Data collection tool

Electronic netbooks with CSPro software

Implementing organization

  • National Population Commission (NPC)

Collaborating organization

  • United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Funding agency

  • European Union
  • President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Email Address of Contact Person/Organisation

Webpage of data project/activity