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After mass rape by the Islamic State, Yazidi women still struggle to break the silence

Some of the Yazidi women sold and enslaved by Islamic State militants told Al-Monitor about their horrific experiences, including repeated rapes, but others claimed they were only forced to cook and clean for fear of being stigmatized by their conservative community.

DAHUK, Iraq — The first man Aniya was forced to marry was an Islamic State militant called Abu Safouan. She was 41 and he was 22, but still he bought her and her 3-year-old daughter at a slave market in Raqqa. After he had raped and abused Aniya for 20 days, he told her he was fed up with her and sold her to a 27-year-old man who called himself Abu Ali Sham.

“He used to rape me when my daughter was outside the room. She often screamed and cried, because she knew something was wrong, but he didn’t care," Aniya told Al-Monitor, adding, “I even refused to take showers, hoping that Abu Ali Sham would leave me alone, but he still forced himself on me, saying that if I refused he would kill me.”

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