Yazidi women imprisoned by ISIS have said they’re often traded around between fighters for cigarettes, weapons or the equivalent of about £6.50 in cash.
Since the terrorist group started attacking the Yazidi homeland in north-west Iraq back in August 2014, over 3,000 women and girls have been taken prisoner, The Sun reported.
About half a million Yazidis have been forced from their homes due to the fighting, many now live in a huge tent city where they are still persecuted by IS on a regular basis.
Islamic State have released material justifying their enslavement, saying they are spoils of war, and one activist has said the women can be traded up to three or four times as fighters switch location.
Khider Domlem, who’s been interviewing escaped women, said: “Every time a woman escapes we learn more about how they are using Yazidi women…some are sold for weapons, or for just $10, or 10 cigarettes.”
They’re forced into sex slavery from the age of seven, and while some escape others remain prisoners with their families helpless to intervene – it’s thought that fighters occasionally send photos of the girls to the families to either taunt them or demand money for their return.
One of the women who managed to get away spoke to NBC News, telling them she escaped with her nine-year-old sister, but an 11-year-old sister is still being held. She said: “She is very beautiful. IS are asking for $25,000 to $35,000 (£16,600 to £23,250) for her freedom.”
And although about 1,000 Yazidi women and girls have actually got away from the clutches of Islamic State, they still have to deal with the inner psychological trauma of the experience.