She was one of the lucky ones who was able to escape. Many of her friends are still being held captive by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and used as sex slaves.
CNN “Aria” is only 15. She was taken to a three-story house where she and her sister-in-law were locked in with dozens of other teenage girls who’d been captured. “In Mosul they tried to make us change our faith and religion,” she said. “They said to us, ‘Read our Quran.’ A couple of the girls said, ‘We never went to school – we can’t read.’
For more than three weeks, Aria stayed here under horrific conditions. During this time, a sheik came and collected 20 girls including her 14-year-old sister-in-law. “He forced himself on her. I was so scared. A lot of my friends were raped. It’s hard to talk about it.” (Aria claims she was not raped but we know that’s only because of her shame in admitting it)
Aria and her friend were then taken to Fallujah by two ISIS savages. “They were really filthy. They had long beards; they were really tall and big. Even men would be scared of them. They forced us to marry them, threatening to hurt us if we didn’t. They gave us a phone to call our families to tell them we’d converted.” Using this phone, they secretly called her friend’s uncle who knew people in Fallujah who were prepared to help. When the militants left the house, the girls – dressed in niqabs — escaped.
Aria was reunited with her family in this refugee camp, where she learned her brother had been shot in the head and killed. Sexual abuse is a taboo subject in this culture and to admit being a victim is unheard of. Aria doesn’t want to stay at the camp. Everyone knows what happened to her and she says they gossip and look at her whenever she goes outside. But her shame is dwarfed by her guilt after learning what happened to the other girls once ISIS discovered they’d fled.
“They raped them because we escaped. That was the punishment. They tightened security so no girls can escape anymore.