A 16-year-old former hostage of the Islamic State says she was held as a sex slave and forced to take birth control by her captors to ensure they were not breaking an ancient Islamic law that a man must ensure a slave is not pregnant before having sex with her. The disturbing tale comes as the Islamic State is thought to imprison thousands of women in sex slavery and forced marriages. More than 30 of those women who recently escaped ISIS spoke with The New York Times about their experiences, and described the many forms of contraception, including oral and injectable, that were used by ISIS fighters to prevent the women from getting pregnant. According to one United Nations clinic, just five percent of more than 700 Yazidi women who have been treated for rape by ISIS have been pregnant.
- “M.”, left, is comforted by relatives before leaving to be resettled in Germany, at a camp near Dohuk, Iraq.
- “J.,” a teen who says she was the sex slave to an Islamic State governor, at a camp for Yazidi refugees near Dohuk, Iraq. Islamic state fighters are permitted to rape female slaves so long as they are not pregnant. “Each month, he made me get a shot,” she recalled. “On top of that he also gave me birth control pills. He told me, ‘We don’t want you to get pregnant.'”
- A camp for Yazidi refugees, some of whom were about to leave for resettlement in Germany, near Dohuk, Iraq. Some of the women here had escaped sexual slavery at the hands of the Islamic State group, whose fighters routinely forced birth control upon them so that pregnancies would not disrupt the abuse.
- “M.”, a Yazidi teen who was sold seven times among the Islamic State fighters who used her as a sex slave, weeps at parting from relatives en route to a resettlement program in Germany.
- “M.”, center, a Yazidi teen who escaped sex slavery under the Islamic State group, is comforted by relatives before leaving to be resettled in Germany.
- “M.,” a Yazidi teen who was sold seven times among the Islamic State fighters who used her as a sex slave, at a camp near Dohuk, Iraq, Jan. 23, 2016.
The women also said that they would be taken to hospitals for pregnancy tests before they were sold from one ISIS fighter to another. The teenage girl who spoke of being force-fed pills in front of her captors said she was sold seven times, and was quizzed by prospective buyers about her menstrual cycle.
“Every day, I had to swallow one in front of him. He gave me one box per month,” the girl said. “When I was sold from one man to another, the box of pills came with me.”
Read the full story in The New York Times.