A 19-year-old girl who was captured, raped and tortured multiple times by ISIS jihadists in Iraq reveals her harrowing account in a new book that describes the religious rituals the men practiced before carrying out the brutal attacks on women and children.
The book, titled The Girl Who Beat ISIS, shares the story of a Yazidi teenage girl in Iraq who goes by the pseudonym, Farida Khalaf, to protect her identity.
The Guardian noted in its review of the book that it provides a first-hand account of the torture women and girls are being forced to endure in cities held by IS (also known as ISIL, ISIS, Daesh). A number of minorities, including Christians, have been made to suffer greatly at the hands of IS, with Yazidis being heavily targeted because IS regards them as devil worshipers.
Khalaf explains in the book that women are treated like property, and are paraded in slave markets in Raqqa, where buyers seek to purchase virgins.
In one of the passages, the Yazidi girl describes how one IS fighter, Amjed from Azerbaijan, prayed to their god every time he was about to assault her.
"Each time he would carry out his religious ritual beforehand," Khalaf wrote.
Girls who try to escape such slave markets are often beaten within an inch of their lives.
Still, Khalaf managed to escape IS captivity, and was reunited with her mother and younger brothers at a refugee camp.
Her father is still missing and presumed dead, and at the camp she faced new challenges since her Yazidi culture regards rape victims as "defiled" and unable to marry.
Khalaf is now studying in Germany, looking to finish her education and become a math teacher, but she knows many others like her are waiting to be rescued from the terror that IS in inflicting.
Back in February, a 21-year-old Iraqi woman, Nadia Murad, also shared her experience as an IS sex slave, and said that the things the Islamic radicals are making women go through are "more difficult than death."
"A year and a half has passed and the genocide against the Yazidis is continuous. We die every day because we see the world silent in the face of our plight," Murad said at the time.
"My mother saw them killing my brothers and then they took my mother and killed her. I was already orphaned as I didn't have a father, all I had in the war was my mother," she said of her experience.
Girls as young as 9 have been reportedly raped by IS militants, with thousands of young women held in Raqqa "meat markets," where they are bought and sold.
The buying and selling practices of top IS leaders were shared by 20-year-old Khalida, another former sex slave.
"The most beautiful women were put into a special room," she said back in March. "Then five top ISIS leaders — emirs — came to choose girls. They took away three or four girls each."