27 Oct 2015

Asuda - A Yazidi Girl Walked Towards Freedom

By Chro Mohammad, Asuda for Combating Violence against Women
October 27, 2015/ Source: Asuda

Since Asuda has started visiting Yazidi girls/women particularly those who are escaped from ISIS captivity and fled from their homeland, Asuda stretched its hands to those who are in a dire need of immediate psychological spur, inconceivable treatment, accommodation, and financial support to rebuild their lives. Sadly, those who have run away from the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is one of the most barbaric terrorist groups, tell their heart-wrenching stories and the nightmares are still within them.

The prosecution of a minority religious and ethnic group of Yezidis by ISIS militant marked the moment of the crisis.  At the beginning of August 2014, ISIS militia group attacked Sinjar region in the northern part of Iraq, where it captured, slaved, and killed many of Yazidis who were left behind. More than 2000 of Yazidi girls and women are still held in the hand of ISIS slavery and captivity.  As Asuda continuously visit the victim girls (survivors) and provide psychological and medical support, they mainly request the saving of the rest of the girls who are still captured by ISIS captivity. They want their voice to be heard. Most importantly, they do not want anyone to feel sorry for them. Due to this, accommodation is their priority needs that they are continuously asking for. After what have happened to them is not easy to live under a tent; hence, they suffer from insomnia.  

Nazdar is only 20-year-old Yezidi, who was released from the hand of ISIS militant along with her parents and her sister. Now, she lives in Duhok under the tent with her sister and sick and humiliated parents, though they face multiple challenges with having no choices. Still she does not know what happened to her brothers and where they are.  When ISIS rampaged the area around Sinjar Mountain, her live turned upside down. The majority of the Yazidi people were killed and enslaved, women/girls and children in particular. The widespread of rape is part of ISIS organized system of abuse, which includes forced marriage, slavery and sexual trade of girls/women. 

Living under the tent is very difficult, and they do not feel safe at all. Now, she lives with her sister and her mother who’s in bed and her relatives are around her as well. She still cannot forget what happened to her sister in front of her eyes. Asuda provided some training sessions for her and ongoing counseling with a vocational training. At the beginning she felt out of nowhere and under stress. All of a sudden, she started speaking up and looking to a miracle to happen to go back to her normal life that she used to live. She stood up on her feet and became a trainer.

She said, ‘I’m working to take care of my family though I’m not quite well psychologically.’ But, I cannot just sit in grief and do nothing. Because it makes my parents worse than ever before, she stated that.   

Once Asuda met her and heard of how she was treated under ISIS captivity, they decided to provide her psychological session and put her in vocational training. By time, she was getting better and she made up her mind not to give up.  

At that time, she was in grievance and clumsy because she was enslaved under ISIS’s hand. This is very hurtful for her and difficult to deal with. However, in her eyes her sorrow shows and you can’t forgot her face as you were leaving, Asuda promised her to help her and make her life better off, as Asuda awarded her 4750$ and provided her with medical and psychological support. Meantime, Asuda gave her a tent along with chairs, sewing machine and its element. Luckily, now Nazdar is a tailor and affords daily expenses for herself and her family. Plus, she became a trainer. Psychologically, physically and financially she is doing much better while advising the rest of the Yazidi girls/women not to give up and be courage to cope with life and build self-confident. Most importantly, for those girls is to speak up and let their voice heard. Asuda visits her on monthly base and ensures that she is doing well.

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