A 14-year-old girl freed from ISIS captivity is the only one of her family of eleven who has returned home. Her hair has gone completely white, a vivid reminder of how many times she was sexually abused by the militants. Many of those taken by ISIS as young children are now teenagers, and those who have been freed are struggling to return to a normal pace of life. There is a great need of psychological care, as well as space given which would allow them to heal. However, regional uncertainties make it difficult for these kinds of needs to be consistently met.
11/28/2017 Iraq (Rudaw) –Madaya Resho is a 14-year-old girl Yezidi who was only recently freed from ISIS captivity. She’s from the village of Siba Shex Xidir near Shingal. Her entire family was abducted by ISIS. Of a family of 11 she’s the only one coming back. She now lives with a cousin of her father.
Mayada Resho is her name. Since her freedom all she talks about is her missing parents and siblings. Her psychology has also been badly hurt by the many times she was sexually abused by ISIS.
“I miss my father and my mother. I miss my sisters. I haven’t seen them for a long time. When I see this pigeon I remember my mother and my sister,” Madaya says.
She now lives with her father’s cousin Hassan Haji. Since coming home news has come out that one of her sisters has been seen in Syria. Relatives will try to bring her home, too.
Hassan Haji says: “Raising these children with no parents and grown up under ISIS is hard. But we’ve no choice. Now her hair has grown white. Her psychology is ruined. But I’ll keep her in our house.”
Because she was taken captive and separated from her parents at that young age Mayada speaks Arabic better than she speaks Kurdish. In Arabic she tells the story of how many times she was bought and resold.
“They bought and resold us. They made us servants. The first person that bought me was named Abu Bakir al-Iraqi. Then he sold me to Sagir Libyan, and he sold me to Muawya, and he sold me to Abu Shadad and he sold me to Abu Hussein. Abu Shadad and Abu Omar and others were all killed. They were hit in airstrikes.”
Most of those taken by ISIS were young children. Up to now 1,728 children have been freed. Efforts are made to find and free the rest.