ESCAPING DARKNESS: SUPPORTING TRAUMATIZED
YAZIDI WOMEN AND GIRLS
Islamic State (IS/ISIS) has raped, tortured and kidnapped thousands of women and girls, leaving them deeply traumatized. AMAR is working with those who have managed to escape, providing expert psychological support. Please donate to our campaign today so that we can help these women and girls to recover from their terrifying ordeals.
KIDNAPPED AND RAPED
“THEY BEGAN TO CHOOSE THE GIRLS. THE GIRLS WERE SHOUTING,
SCREAMING AND VOMITING” – NOOR (22)
ISIS began its brutal campaign across Iraq in summer 2014, murdering and kidnapping many thousands of people, destroying towns and villages and forcing more than 3 million people from their homes.
Among those kidnapped were an estimated 5000 Yazidi women and girls – the largest single mass kidnap of women this century. Forced to work as sex slaves, they have been bought and sold like cattle in markets – many kept under lock and key for months on end. They have been subjected to horrific abuse – including daily rape and sexual violence, torture and forced marriage. The levels of brutality are almost impossible to comprehend.
“A man came to me and told me he wanted to marry me,” 16 year old Bushra told AMAR earlier this year. “I told him I wouldn’t marry him even if he killed me. Then he raped me. He was sixty years old. I was 15.”
SEVERE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA
“THEY DID EVERYTHING TO ME, I’M STILL IN PAIN. I CAN’T SLEEP, I WAKE AT 3AM
STILL SMELLING THEM.” – AMAL (18)
Incredibly, some brave women and girls have managed to escape. But reaching safety has not brought an end to their suffering. The horrors have left many deeply traumatized, suffering both mental and physical reactions to their harrowing ordeals. Some could not live with their memories and have committed suicide.
Even those who were not abducted by ISIS are suffering from mental trauma – the experience of watching as friends and relatives were killed in front of them, and the agony of not knowing the fate of kidnapped loved ones, continuing to haunt and violently disturb them.
Medical centers in Northern Iraq are struggling to cope with this crisis. A severe shortage of trained psychiatrists has resulted in limited availability of psychological services. “Experienced psychologists working in Iraq told me they have never witnessed trauma cases of such severity on such a scale,” says Edward Watts, whose film ‘Escape from ISIS’ highlighted the terrible psychological damage wreaked by ISIS. “And yet, you can literally count the number of psychologists available to help the victims on the fingers of one hand. They urgently need more support.”
HOW CAN I HELP?
AMAR has been working with those affected by ISIS violence since last summer, delivering emergency relief, healthcare and education to those in need. This summer, we brought three Yazidi women over to the UK so that they could share their experiences of captivity with British students and help increase understandings of the horrors faced by those enslaved by ISIS.
Today, we are working to deliver long-term psychological support to women and girl victims of ISIS. We are:
- Working with expert psychiatrists to train local General Practitioners so that they can deliver quality psychological care.
- Establishing 10 new psychological support centers within existing medical centers to deliver care to those living in camp and non-camp settings.
- Developing a community-based social program so that social workers can provide basic yet essential counselling and psychological support directly into homes.
Thanks to a generous kick-off donation, we are 7% of the way towards our fundraising target. But we urgently need your help so that we can deliver all of these services.
PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT
Please, donate what you can so that we can treat as many traumatized women and girls as possible and help them to overcome these horrific experiences.
- $20 - Will help provide counseling for 8 girls
- $35 - Will help support a General Practitioner for a week
- $70 - Will help support a community worker for one month
- $140 - Will help train a community worker in psychological support
- $280 - Will help train a General Practitioner in mental health care
- $700 - Will help support a psychological support center for one month