While ISIS militants are continuing their rampage across the Middle East, teenage girls who were captured by the terrorist organization are recounting the horrors they lived through now that they’ve escaped.
ISIS captured many of the Yazidi’s of Northern Iraq, and the teenage girls who were included in that group recall just how horrific their imprisonment was.
“We would try to make ourselves look ugly,” said a 15-year-old girl, according to the NY Post. “Some women would cry or scream or fight, but it made no difference. They were always taken anyway.”
The girl claims that their treatment was so horrible that many of them thought death would ultimately be a better option.
“One girl hanged herself,” said the teen. “Another tried, but the ISIS guards stopped her and beat her very badly. No one else tried after that.”
In addition to being starved and physically assaulted on a daily basis, ISIS also forced them to watch videos of Yazidi men being beheaded.
“In some [videos] they put the heads into cooking pots,” the teen said. “Sometimes they would stand on them. There were so many heads. And they would ask us, ‘Do you know this one?’ and laugh.”
The Yazidis, which are minorities in Iraq, were told that they had to convert to Islam or else all the men would be killed, so as the young girl recalls, she converted to Islam in order to protect her family.
“They told us if we didn’t convert to Islam, they would kill all the men in our families, so we said to ourselves, ‘It’s just words. In our hearts we are still Yazidi,’” the teen recalled. “So I did it to save my brother.”
Parwen Aziz of the Kurdistan National Congress is now calling on the Kurdish government to provide support for escaped prisoners.
“Psychological support programs are not accepted here so we are trying to start income programs that will help [women] psychologically at the same time,” Aziz said, according to NBC News. “Some of these women do not want to talk at all. They need time. Some of them speak of frequent rape, up to six times a day. Others were not tortured or raped at all. Their situations vary often according to age or the area where they were held.”
Meanwhile, airstrikes continue in the region in an effort to stop ISIS.