5 Things You Should Know About ISIS-Tortured Yazidi Women

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The violence against the Yazidi people stem from ISIS members’ view that they are infidels.  “My own community has been subject to more than 74 genocides by radical Muslim groups, not just now but throughout the history such as the Ottomans and others. These radical groups, whenever given the chance, will commit their crimes. What happened in Iraq and Syria was that the world remained silent as ISIS expanded,” said Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi sex slave survivor.


 ISIS keeps a price list for the young women to be sold as sex slaves.  The list includes a price for girls ages 1-9 years of age – $169.21, the highest-priced group.  Once abducted, the Yazidi (and Christian) women and girls are forced to undergo “virginity tests” and then are sent to be traded in “slave bazaars.”


Women who try to make themselves less desirable to their captors, by either rubbing dirt on their faces or telling lies that their younger brothers are their sons results in them being beaten nearly to death. One Yazidi teenager who had been repeatedly raped set herself on fire to make her less desirable to her captors.  If the women refuse to have sex with their captors, they are killed as were 19 Yazidi women back in July.  The 19 women were placed inside an iron cage and burned alive.


In Germany where a large number of Yazidi refugees are, there now exists a special program to assist Yazidi women who were raped and tortured by ISIS members.  The program is run by trauma psychologist, university professor and Mideast expert, Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, and currently assists 1,100 women who were selected by Kizilhan.  


As of August 17th, government officials in Toronto are being urged to resettle 400 Yazidi women and their families, who escaped the clutches of ISIS, in Canada.  This follows Canada’s acceptance of some 25,000 refugees. Of the more than 6,500 women and children who were taken into captivity two years ago in Iraq, more than 3,500 remain in captivity.    


— by Codi Robertson

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org