A Yazidi woman who fled captivity at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has claimed that hundreds of others are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by the jihadists.
"We just want them to be rescued," Ameena Saeed Hasan said in a CNN report. "Hundreds of girls have committed suicide.
"I have some pictures of the girls who have committed suicide ... when they lose hope for rescue and when ISIS many times sell them and rape them ... I think there is maybe 100. We lost contact with most of them," she added.
While Hasan and other Yazidis have managed to escape the terror group, thousands of others remain in captivity and in great danger. IS sees the Yazidis as devil-worshipers and regularly executes men, while forcing women and children into sex slavery.
Hasan has since become an activist raising awareness for the plight of Yazidis, and has been recognized with an award from the U.S. State Department for helping IS slaves.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has praised her "courageous efforts on behalf of the Yazidi religious minority in northern Iraq, for insisting that the world give heed to the horrors that they face, and ... firm commitment to helping the victims and saving lives."
Several reports have focused on the horrific rapes and abuse Yazidi women have suffered at the hands of the Islamic militants, who have captured vast territory in Iraq and Syria. Many women have been forced to marry jihadists out of fear for their lives, or to save the lives of loved ones.
An investigative report by The New York Times in August found that many IS fighters believe that raping children and young girls serves as a "prayer" to God. The report, based on interviews with 21 women and girls who escaped IS' captivity in Iraq, revealed that jihadists seek to justify their actions with the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
"He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God," one 12-year-old girl said.
"Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray," added another 15-year-old girl.
"He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, 'What you're doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.' And he said, 'No, it's allowed. It's halal.'"
IS' pamphlets from December 2014 have also sought to advise its fighters when it is permissible to rape children.
"It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty, if she is fit for intercourse," the pamphlet read.