The Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS) militants led an offensive and captured several villages, towns and Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul in 2014. They espoused to have established a governing system based on Islamic principles.
After making swathes of territorial gains, ISIS captured Shingal in August, forcing civilians to flee to the mountain where they were besieged. Many died as a result, but were later rescued, and eventually most parts of Shingal were under Peshmerga control.
Unfortunately, the ISIS onslaught into Shingal was immense. The Ezidi community have said nearly 3,500 of their women and girls are still being held by the notoriously evil ISIS.
One Ezidi woman who managed to escape told BBC that one girl committed suicide to escape the barbaric group’s sex enslavement, “She slashed her wrists. They didn’t let us help her. They put us in a room and shut the door. She died”.
Amnesty International report, “Escape from hell” retold the horrors that many women were forced to endure. It highlights how women were systematically raped, imprisoned, physically and emotionally tortured, forced into sex slavery, married off against their will.
Not long ago, a video surfaced of ISIS militants joking about Ezidi women held captive, and sold.
The horrors are immense — wounds are deep — stories are tragic and the reality is bitter. It is inconceivable that women in the 21st century have faced this barbarism while world leaders have dipped their fingers in the war against ISIS using airstrikes.
The tragedy of Shingal massacre is not merely the mass-killings, attempted ethnic cleansing, but the violation of people’s personal sanctity, autonomy, dignity, and those that have survived are forced to adjust to an unknown reality.
Mothers who do not know the whereabouts of their children, or those who know too-well where their daughters are, but lack the means to return them to safety. Fathers who ache inside (of those that survived), praying, wishing, wailing for what they have lost.
The loss is just too immense to put into words. How will these women, men, children, girls and teenagers be able to recover? How can they learn to live, having lost so much?
I am hoping that this post will lead to results because this is going beyond a trauma centre for victims of rape, but rather this trauma centre is for those victims of genocide/ethnic cleansing.
It is to help those raped, lost loved ones, witnessed brutality, have children with unknown whereabouts. If you’re interested in helping, please contact me. So far, I have merely contacted rape trauma organisations in United Kingdom, hoping that they might be able to help set up (or provide guidelines on how to establish/train staff).
Please only contact me if you are serious. Several people have indicated their willingness to help, but nothing tangible has been produced.
The idea is to establish the strongest and most networked establishment throughout the world where they can train locals to deal with victims of rape (particularly those that have faced brutal systematic and violent rape repeatedly).
The trauma centre extends to more than rape support groups. It includes families that only have one or two remaining survivors.
Our vision should be to help a small community rebuild their lives, and be able to continue their education, and focus their efforts on positivity, despite the gruesome tragedy.