A 21-year-old Iraqi woman whose family was massacred by the Islamic State terror group while she was kept as a sex slave before managing to escape, has testified about the horrific torture and abuse militants are inflicting on women and young girls.
Nadia Murad shared her story during a visit to London, where she revealed how IS fighters killed six of her brothers and her mother in Northern Iraq, according to The Mirror on Sunday. Murad herself was taken in as a sex slave, one of close to 5,000 Yazidi girls and women the terror group has kidnapped.
The sex slave survivor said that some of the things 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," she said.
"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," Murad continued.
"But when they took me to Mosul and raped me, I forgot my mother and brothers. Because what they were doing to the women was more difficult than death," she added.
"Imagine until now, for more than a year and a half, girls as young as 9 are being rented and sold out [for sex]."
Millions of people have been displaced and driven out of Iraq and Syria as refugees due to IS, which has also killed thousands of soldiers and civilians, and holds thousands of women and girls as sex slaves. Minorities such as Christians and Yazidis have been specifically targeted by the radicals.
A number of victims have managed to escape the clutches of the terror group to share their stories, and some have even formed all-female battalions to fight back against the terror group.
Fox News reported last week that hundreds of Yazidi women aged between 17 and 37 have been training as the "Sun Ladies" to launch an offensive on the IS stronghold of Mosul, where many of them were forced to serve as sex slaves.
"Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims," said Capt. Khatoon Khider, a member of the battalion.
"Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die. Our hands were all tied. We couldn't do anything about it," she added, recalling the persecution of Yazidis.
In her statement, Murad said that the government has failed to protect the vulnerable populations, and called on the world community to stand up against the IS "criminals."
"When I speak I didn't speak just on my behalf, but on behalf of all the women and children affected in the war zone," she said.
"Two months have passed since I have been campaigning and people have been happy, not just Yazidis, about this message."