ISIS horrific experiences: Yazidi women unable to break silence

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Baghdad, Sept 10: Several Yazidi women raped and tortured by Islamic State (ISIS) militants for months are still unable to break the silence. These women were bought by ISIS militants to serve as sex slaves.

One of the victim Aniya (name changed) while talking to Al-Monitor revealed her ordeal. She was first forced to marry an ISIS fighter who was half of her age. The 22-year-old ISIS militant Abu Safouan bought 41-year-old Aniya and her 3-year-old daughter at a slave market in Raqqa.

Yazidi women still in grip of ISIS fear

"He used to rape me when my daughter was outside the room. She often screamed and cried, because she knew something was wrong, but he didn't care," said Aniya.

"I even refused to take showers, hoping that Abu Ali Sham would leave me alone, but he still forced himself on me, saying that if I refused he would kill me," added she.

Aniya was among hundreds of women kidnapped by ISIS militants from Kojo village in Mount Sinjar in Iraq in August last year.

ISIS militants killed dozens of Yazidi Kurds, including Aniya's husband. Youngest women among them were sold immediately, while the older women were taken from location to location in Iraq and Syria, until they too were sold to ISIS militants.

Even after being rescued from the ISIS captivity many women are still unable to narrate their ordeal. The talk about horrors but when it comes to being made pregnant by ISIS men they maintain a silence. Aniya too found herself uneasy to discuss the issue.

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Another 35-year-old Jinan, another Yazidi woman from Kojo village who too was enslaved by ISIS militants for months said she heard of girls who became pregnant, but she never met any of them. "But if a girl comes back pregnant, I think her family should help her."

In closed Yazidi society, women discuss the nightmare that ISIS has unleashed on them but they avoid talking about pregnancy.

In September 2014, the religious leader of the Yazidis, Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail, issued a statement encouraging Yazidis to accept women returning from IS territory and to help reintegrate these victims, because they had been "subjected to a matter outside their control."

"This statement helped a lot, because before it was a really closed society. A lot of things happened in secret," Behar Ali, the head of Emma, a women's organization that promotes women's participation in the Kurdish region, told Al-Monitor.

Some of the woman kidnaped by ISIS even denied being raped by them.

Jinan, who was also kidnapped by ISIS militants last year, denied being raped by ISIS militants. According to her she just used to household works like cooking and cleaning for the militant identified as Abu Mohktar, who bought her and forced her to be his wife.

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