Islamic State’s sex slaves from Kurdish minorities in Iraq became heroes within their communities for surviving the awful treatment they suffered.
Asia, a 15-year-old Yazidi girl from Iraq, shared her story of being an ISIS sex slave for over a year in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. Asia was taken hostage by ISIS militants when her family was stuck in traffic in the summer of 2014.
She ended up in an underground prison after she was used as debt payment in several trades. The final destination was an apartment where a man in his upper 40s waited for Asia to be his 16 sex slave. Asia was told it was a real “privilege” to be this man’s sex slave, as it would relieve her of all her sins. The man’s mother cheered on her son and complimented him, saying he looked “reborn” when the rape sessions were over.
Every now and then Asia was forced to get down on her knees, kiss the man’s hand and show gratefulness toward him.
Asia was able to escape after a year and a half in captivity. She now lives with her dad in Iraq.
The Yazidi society is heavily influenced by an honor culture and the caste system. Girls who lost their virginity, especially those who survived a rape, were considered damaged goods. ISIS’s brutal methods have changed this idea, and girls who survive ISIS torture are now the most sought after girls to marry.
“I think our caste system will live on,” 32-year-old Yazidi man Dler Badal Khalaf told Aftonbladet. “But it’s no longer a shame for a woman to get raped. Rather the opposite.”
Khalaf said Yazidi men consider it an obligation to help out these girls.
“Many young Yazidis consider it an obligation and an honor to marry these women,” Khalaf said. “I would absolutely consider marrying a released ISIS prisoner.”
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