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.
Vian was 15 years old when kidnapped by ISIS in August 2014 and held for 4 months in Raqqa, Syria. Vian tells of the atrocities she witnessed against girls as young as 7 by ISIS men. One afternoon Vian ran away and was able to make it to Turkey where her Uncle picked her up and brought her home to her family.
We were very scared. We tried to escape. My parents had bad backs, but they still carried two children. That night 30 cars blocked our path. They shot at the ground around us, and then they seized me.
They separated the women from the girls. There was about a hundred girls. Many were very beautiful. They took them to Syria. We sat and cried together many times, and I didn’t even know their names.
I don’t want to be recognized. Because I don’t want them to hurt my friends who are still there. You know, when the girls who escaped started talking…they’d torture us even more.
I was in Raqqa. I can’t even speak about what I saw there. When I remember, I start choking, and then I just want to kill myself, again.
They’re savages, not people. There were 7, 8 and 9-year old girls. And the men were 20, 25, 30, 50. They did it to a 10-year old girl. Her hands were tied. How could she avoid it? They were very aggressive, and they molested the girls up to ten times a day. A fighter would start taking girls, once she turned 15.
I was always with the lady of the house, sitting in a room. Then I asked if I could go outside with her. She went with me, then told me to babysit her daughter outside. That afternoon, I escaped.
I walked down the road by myself. I only had luck with me. I could meet a bad or a good man. I walked until some man gave me a lift to Turkey. My uncle went there to pick me up. I was in seventh heaven when I saw them at the door! I still couldn’t believe I was seeing my family.
But the problem is that I don’t feel happiness inside. I’m always thinking. Although I’m far from them and not to blame for what happened there, I keep thinking about it and can’t get it out of my head. I try to recall my best memories, but I can’t, no matter how hard I try.
I wanted to become a doctor. But I no longer have any dreams. I just want to be with my parents. I can’t even make friends. I can’t talk to a girl who hasn’t been through what I have.
As told to documentary makers at Russia Today.