A 34-year old Nigerian woman, Nneka Obazee tried to kill herself when she realised that she would be deported from the UK.
Nneka ran away from her abusive husband when they visited the UK in March 2013 with her stepson.
It was at this period she revealed her sexuality and has been living in the UK since then, and she later joined the Lesbian and Gay Bisexual Transgender community. Her application for asylum has however not been approved.
The Independent reported that her case was rejected twice by the Home Office with two failed appeals tribunal, however, her case is being reviewed again.
Nneka was supposed to be deported with her 19-year-old stepson but she overdosed on pain medication which led to her hospitalisation, but, her step-son is currently in Nigeria.
According to a spokesperson for LGSM, who is in direct contact with her, Nneka’s mental health has worsened and she has suffered a nervous breakdown which has included thoughts of suicide.
When Nneka was made aware that she would be returned to Nigeria she was so frightened that she attempted to suicide and took an overdose which demonstrates how dire the situation would be for her if she was returned to Nigeria.
Sexual identity is a very difficult thing to have to ‘prove’, not least when it has been the cause of significant trauma in the past.
It is also not uncommon for the same LGBTQ+ asylum seekers to suffer from mental health problems. By the time they are recognised as refugees, they have experienced the effects of disbelief, destitution and detention, often at a huge cost to their mental health.