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ISIS's Ideology of Rape

Systematic rape becomes an increasingly powerful recuing tool for Isis. Especially Yazidi women are targeted by the Islamic fighters but also the western hostages as in the case of American Citizen Kayla Müller who was kidnapped in 2013 in Syria and is now hold by the Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He views women held captive as his private property.















Women and girls as young as 11 have been systematically raped by fighters for the Islamic State, which has made sex slavery a pillar of its self-proclaimed caliphate

According to Kurdistan officials, ISIS forces took several thousand Yezidi civilians into custody in northern Iraq in August 2014. Witnesses said that fighters systematically separated young women and adolescent girls from their families and other captives and moved them from one location to another inside Iraq and Syria.

In October 2014, ISIS acknowledged in its online magazine "Dabiq" that  Yezidi women and girls had been given to its fighters as “spoils of war.” ISIS has sought to justify sexual violence by claiming that Islam permits sex with non-Muslim “slaves,” including girls, as well as beating and selling them. According to Human Rights Watch, these statements are further evidence of a widespread practice and a systematic plan of action by ISIS.

In 'The Land of Blood and Honey', Angelina Jolie explicitly portrays the treatment of women during the war: rape, abuse, humiliation, mass killing and internment are an unequivocal evidence that women continue to be abused and treated as objects of war.


Although several hundred Yezidis have escaped, an uncounted number is still in captivity in various parts of Iraq and Syria. Escaped abductees said that ISIS is holding female captives, including girls, in houses, hotels, factories, farm compounds, schools, prisons, military bases, and former government offices. Witnesses said that young women and adolescent girls are first separated from men, boys, and older women, and then moved several times in a very organized and methodical way to various places in Iraq and Syria. While most of the ISIS fighters appeared to be Syrian or Iraqi, survivors said that some of their abusers told them that they came from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as from Europe and Central Asia.


In 'Three Windows and a Hanging', a schoolteacher in Serbia gives an interview in which she admits that she and three other women from the village were raped by Serbian soldiers. When the men from the village find out that she has spoken out, they start a hate campaign against her and her little boy.


On March 13, 2015, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in its report that about 3,000 people, mainly Yezidis, allegedly remain in ISIS captivity. Local officials, service providers, and community activists estimate that the number of Yezidis still held is much higher.

In September 2014, a Yezidi group provided Human Rights Watch with a database with 3,133 names and ages of Yezidis they said ISIS had kidnapped or killed, or who had been missing since the ISIS assaults of early August. The database was based on interviews with displaced Yezidis in Iraqi Kurdistan. The group said that as of late March 2015, the number of dead, abducted, and missing Yezidis had risen to 5,324.