Teenager Captured By ISIS Speaks Out About Sexual Violence

| by Amanda Schallert

A 17-year-old Yazidi girl held captive by Islamic State militants has opened up about the sexual violence she and dozens of other women are being subjected to around her, according to Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.

Members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have abducted and killed thousands of Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq recently as ISIS has gained increasing power in the area, according to the Huffington Post.

The unidentified teenage girl has said that she and about 40 other women in an encampment have been trapped by guards and sexually abused on a daily basis. She added that she was captured in August.

Some of the girls abused are just 12 or 13 years old, she said, and the militants who captured them are "people without a heart" and "do not even spare the women with small children.”

The women she was captured with are also members of the Yazidi minority religious group, which has faced persecution by ISIS. Amnesty International has accused the militant group of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, as ISIS members have killed or forcibly converted numerous Yazidis to Islam, according to the L.A. Times.

"There's a part of me that just wants to die. But there is another part of me that still hopes that I will be saved and that I will be able to embrace my parents once again,” the teenager said.

"To hurt us even more, they told us to describe in detail to our parents what they are doing. They laugh at us because they think they are invincible,” she added. “They consider themselves supermen.”

The teenager said that she has requested that the men kill her so she does not have to continue experiencing their abuse.

"They treat us as if we are their slaves. The men hit us and threaten us when we try to resist. Often I wish that they would beat me so severely that I would die," she said. "If one day this torture ever ends, my life will always be marked by what I have suffered in these weeks. Even if I survive, I don't know how I'm going to cancel from my mind this horror.”

U.N. officials issued a statement last month condemning the sexual violence committed by ISIS militants, according to NewsWeek.

"We condemn, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control, and we remind all armed groups that acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity," said Nickolay Mladenov, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq and Zainab Hawa Bangura.

Source: La Repubblica, NewsWeek, LA Times, Huffington Post, Image Credit: Associated Press