A young Yazidi girl calling herself Ekhlas has told the BBC that she was raped every day for six months and tried to kill herself after she was captured by ISIS at the age of 14. Ekhlas, who was captured alongside thousands of other Yazidi women by ISIS in 2014, said that she was awarded to her rapist from a group of 150 other women.
“Every day for six months he raped me. I tried to kill myself,” Ekhlas said. “He picked me out of 150 by drawing lots. He was so ugly, like a beast with his long hair. He smelt so bad. I was so frightened I couldn’t look at him.”
“How am I telling you this without crying?” she wondered. “I tell you I ran out of tears.”
After six months of horror, Ekhlas was able to escape her captor while he was away fighting. She sought safety in a refugee camp, and was eventually able to immigrate to Germany, where she has begun attending school. When she graduates school, Ekhlas says, she hopes to become a lawyer.
At the Women in the World Summit in New York in April, Shireen Ibrahim, also a Yazidi, shared her account of the eight months she spent enslaved by ISIS, and painted a similarly horrifying picture. Ibrahim said she was bought and sold repeatedly, while her captors “did every bad thing they could to me.” Ibrahim said she was able to escape rape, but it wasn’t until she became deathly sick that her owner finally allowed her to go free.
Ibrahim’s translator, Kurdish activist Feryal Pirali, said that one of her friends had been pregnant when she was taken by ISIS. The fighters cut open her stomach, Pirali said, and removed the fetus from her body.
“They raped the baby, and they raped her, and they thought she was dead so they left her behind,” said Pirali.
Watch video coverage of Ekhlas’ story below.