Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls, rescued or freed when IS was pushed out of Mosul in Iraq, are struggling to recover after three years of sexual abuse.
A hard-hitting report from the New York Times says that systematic sexual abuse has left many girls unable to move, with many falling into a deep, trance-like sleep for days on end.
Since the operation to take back Mosul began last year, around 180 women, girls and children from the Yazidi ethnic minority, who were captured in 2014 by IS, have been liberated, according to Iraq’s Bureau for the Rescue of Abductees.
After three years, many women are very damaged and display extraordinary signs of psychological injury. Dr Nagham Nawzat Hasan, a Yazidi gynaecologist who has treated more than 1,000 of the rape victims, told the New York Times that the girls are ‘very tired’, ‘unconscious’ and in ‘severe shock and psychological upset’.
Many have given birth to children they do not want to raise, while others have been brainwashed to accept hard-line Islamism and cannot return to their Yazidi beliefs.