Escaped ISIS Sex Slaves Speak About Horrific Torture, Rape

"I'd preferred to be killed by shelling than be captured by ISIS."

In August of 2014, ISIS forces stormed the city of Sinjar in northern Iraq, capturing over 5,000 Yazidi women and hocking them off into a vicious daily cycle of torture, rape, and starvation. Teenagers and women in their 30s all sold and sold again, passing from one man to another, enduring the same brutality under a new roof for months at a time.

Many of these women are still being held captive by ISIS, yet a few others were lucky enough to escape. Those that have are now telling their stories of survival under these ruthless savages.

A female Iraqi photographer, Seivan Salim, has sat down with some of them to portray them in traditional Yazidi wedding gowns (to denote purity) and given them a voice to tell their stories in their own words. The Daily Mail featured the photographs and stories that are part of Salim's work "Escaped." A sampling of what these women have gone through is below:

Rooba, 28, held for 10 months—

I was sold to a forty year-old man from Saudi Arabia. 

He asked me to marry him and when I refused he pointed to three objects sitting on his table; a knife, a gun, and rope. He said he'd use all three if I didn't say yes. I refused over and over again, so he beat me. He beat my niece, who is only 3 years-old. 

I was sold again, this time to a single man who wanted to marry me. I refused with all my might and again was beaten, and again they beat my little niece. He tried to rape me and when he couldn't he sold me again. 

In the new house I did all the work: cleaning, cooking and washing. The man who bought me said that he had to sleep with me to make me a real Muslim. I told him that if he slept with me I would become his wife and then I would not be a slave any more. His wife threatened to leave if he slept with me. 

She got very angry at my niece because she couldn't speak Arabic: she put pepper in her mouth and locked her in a room without water; she beat her so much you can still see the wounds today.

Nasira, 18, held for 11 months—

When ISIS arrived they tried to convert us to Islam. We all just cried, even my father. They brought us all to a school, took all our money and possessions. We heard that they killed four trucks full of men from our village. 

When we heard the planes flying overhead I prayed they would bomb our men. It would have been better than being killed by ISIS. I also wished they drop bombs on us. I'd preferred to be killed by shelling than be captured by ISIS. 

I was not sold but they brought me to Raqqa in Syria and gave me to a Saudi family as a gift, as a slave. I stayed there for eight months. They brought us to the school to teach us the Quran. 

I saw the beheaded and crucified body of a YPG fighter [Syrian Kurdish militia fighting ISIS]. It was terrible. 

Delvin, 27, held for four months—

I was pregnant and I had other children with me. They were very cruel to us. Even though I was pregnant they would beat me and try to have sex with me. If I didn't accept to have sex with the men of the family, they would force me anyway. 

They raped me over and over again. I was sold again, this time to a family from Saudi Arabia. They took one of the boys who was with me to be trained as a jihadi. I never saw him again. I stayed there for a month and a half. I moved again to another city where my baby was born. I was raped there too, despite the fact that I just had given birth.

Shadi, 18, held for five months—

There was an American man there, who did not speak Arabic. He told me that I must marry him to become Muslim. He asked me to wash myself and then marry him. I told him that I was pregnant and could not have sex, so he brought me to a doctor and when he found out that I lied he beat me.

He tied my hands with a cable and raped me. We tried to escape many times. Each time he would find us, aided either by the militia at the checkpoints, or people who lied to us and instead of helping us would call him. 

Muna, 18, held for four months—

ISIS forced me to go with them when I was in Tal Afar. They said, 'If you don't come with us we will behead your two young brothers.' So I went with a man to Mosul. 

I worked for his family as a slave. They forced me to convert to Islam. Even though he had a wife and a family he raped me continuously. 

Nasima, 22, held for nine months—

The first time a member of ISIS raped me, he hit me with a whip. He washed me and forced me to marry him. He was about 30 years-old and had four children. He wanted me to give him a baby. The man dealt with explosives and moved around a lot. I saw them placing mines in several different cities. When they heard an airplane they would send me out; they thought that if the pilots saw me they would not bomb them. I hoped they would. 

Jihan, 20, held for 10 months—

They told us that they would punish us, but never kill us because they preferred to torture us. 

Maysa, 18, held for 10 months—

We stayed in a prison for two days and on the third day they brought us to a mosque and left us under the sun like animals. We were like sheep in the bazar. The sheik called the men to come and see us, and choose between Yazidi and Christian girls. The men did not want the Christians though; they all wanted us, the Yazidi girls.

One man chose me and put me in a car. I was in his house for three months. At first he wanted to 'purify' me from being Yazidi and forced me to give up my rings, my clothes and all those things that recalled my religion, my identity. He wanted to 'teach me how to behave' so I was taken to live with other Yazidi girls who had been forced to marry men from Saudi Arabia. They told me that I had to marry him, even if I did not want to. 

Then my owner came back to collect me and I started working in his house. The television was always on religious channels, reciting the Quran all the time. I did not eat their food, only bread and water. One time, when I refused to wash, he hit me with his gun and told me that he would beat me to death if I did not wash myself. But I did not want to wash because I knew that if I washed he would sleep with me. I did not wash for three months. 

And these atrocities are only worsening as reports continue to show the stranglehold of Islamic terrorism in Iraq: tens of thousands of civilians killed and millions displaced, while thousands of women and children remain sex slaves under ISIS.

 

 

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