ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters.
Ariana was kidnapped by ISIS in August 2014 when they invaded her school, divided the girls up and sold them. Ariana was held in ISIS captivity for 9 months and sold five times to different men. She was finally able to escape when she convinced one of the men to sell her back to her family.
They gathered us in the school.
Women and girls were on the top floor and boys and men were downstairs. We heard shots being fired. Many shots. We thought all our men and boys had been killed. Everybody who had sisters clung on to them and screamed, “I won’t leave my sister!” They forced us apart. It was very scary.
They sold me five times to one another. I threw myself at his mother and sisters’ feet and pleaded, “I beg you, don’t do this to me. I’ll do what you want. I just want to protect my honour.” They refused. Their women are worse than men. I fought him, but he took me by force. After that, I was desperate. They told me “Do you think we’ll bury you? We won’t lose much if we feed you to the dogs.”
They sold me to another man in Mosul, Iraq. He beat me. He’d lock me up in a room for four days. He sold me to a Tunisian. That one came over to take me, grabbed me by the hair, and dragged me into his car and took me to Syria. Sometimes he’d leave to fight for a few days. He fought until he was wounded. His wound stretched from his groin to the leg. The doctor said “Don’t do this. It’s bad for your leg.” But he continued molesting me regardless.
Then I was moved to Dabiq. That’s where they made missiles. I said, “you keep selling me, why not to my family?” He said, “I won’t sell you to Yazidis.” I had an idea. I said, “There’s a Muslim in my family. He married my sister before the war.” It was a lie but I did it to save myself. My family bought me for $10,000.
I cried a lot when I came back, and saw my parents weren’t there. There used to be 12 of us and now there are only 8. I want my former life back. I want my future to be more like my past. I want to have friends, to have a normal life. Because we were truly happy once.
As told to documentary makers at Russia Today.