Escaping darkness: supporting traumatised yazidi women and girls

ISLAMIC STATE (IS/ISIS) HAS RAPED, TORTURED AND KIDNAPPED THOUSANDS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS, LEAVING THEM DEEPLY TRAUMATISED. AMAR IS WORKING WITH THOSE WHO HAVE MANAGED TO ESCAPE, PROVIDING EXPERT PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT. PLEASE DONATE TO OUR APPEAL TODAY SO THAT WE CAN HELP THESE WOMEN AND GIRLS TO RECOVER FROM THEIR TERRIFYING ORDEALS.

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Kidnapped and Raped
“They began to choose the girls. The girls were shouting, screaming and vomiting” – Noor (22).





ISIS began its brutal campaign across Iraq in summer 2014, murdering and kidnapping many thousands of people, destroying towns and villages and forcing more than 3 million people from their homes.

Amongst those kidnapped were an estimated 5000 Yazidi women and girls – the largest single mass kidnap of women this century. Forced to work as sex slaves, they have been bought and sold like cattle in markets – many kept under lock and key for years on end. They have been subjected to horrific abuse – including daily rape and sexual violence, torture and forced marriage. The levels of brutality are almost impossible to comprehend.

“A man came to me and told me he wanted to marry me,” 16 year old Bushra told AMAR. “I told him I wouldn’t marry him even if he killed me. Then he raped me. He was sixty years old. I was 15.”

Kidnapped and Raped
“They began to choose the girls. The girls were shouting, screaming and vomiting” – Noor (22).

ISIS began its brutal campaign across Iraq in summer 2014, murdering and kidnapping many thousands of people, destroying towns and villages and forcing more than 3 million people from their homes.

Amongst those kidnapped were an estimated 5000 Yazidi women and girls – the largest single mass kidnap of women this century. Forced to work as sex slaves, they have bought and sold like cattle in markets – many kept under lock and key for months on end. They have been subjected to horrific abuse – including daily rape and sexual violence, torture and forced marriage. The levels of brutality are almost impossible to comprehend.

“A man came to me and told me he wanted to marry me,” 16 year old Bushra told AMAR earlier this year. “I told him I wouldn’t marry him even if he killed me. Then he raped me. He was sixty years old. I was 15.”

Severe emotional trauma

“They did everything to me, I’m still in pain. I can’t sleep, I wake at 3am still smelling them.” – Amal (18)

Incredibly, some brave women and girls have managed to escape. But reaching safety has not brought an end to their suffering. The horrors have left many deeply traumatised, suffering both mental and physical reactions to their harrowing ordeals. Some could not live with their memories and have committed suicide.

Even those who were not abducted by ISIS are suffering from mental trauma – the experience of watching as friends and relatives were killed in front of them, and the agony of not knowing the fate of kidnapped loved ones, continuing to haunt and violently disturb them.

Medical centres in Northern Iraq are struggling to cope with this crisis. A severe shortage of trained psychiatrists has resulted in limited availability of psychological services. “Experienced psychologists working in Iraq told me they have never witnessed trauma cases of such severity on such a scale,” says Edward Watts, whose film ‘Escape from ISIS’ highlighted the terrible psychological damage wreaked by ISIS. “And yet, you can literally count the number of psychologists available to help the victims on the fingers of one hand. They urgently need more support.”







Severe emotional trauma

“They did everything to me, I’m still in pain. I can’t sleep, I wake at 3am still smelling them.” – Amal (18)

Incredibly, some brave women and girls have managed to escape. But reaching safety has not brought an end to their suffering. The horrors have left many deeply traumatised, suffering both mental and physical reactions to their harrowing ordeals. Some could not live with their memories and have committed suicide.

Even those who were not abducted by ISIS are suffering from mental trauma – the experience of watching as friends and relatives were killed in front of them, and the agony of not knowing the fate of kidnapped loved ones, continuing to haunt and violently disturb them.

Medical centres in Northern Iraq are struggling to cope with this crisis. A severe shortage of trained psychiatrists has resulted in limited availability of psychological services. “Experienced psychologists working in Iraq told me they have never witnessed trauma cases of such severity on such a scale,” says Edward Watts, whose film ‘Escape from ISIS’ highlighted the terrible psychological damage wreaked by ISIS. “And yet, you can literally count the number of psychologists available to help the victims on the fingers of one hand. They urgently need more support.”

HOW CAN I HELP?








AMAR has been working with those affected by ISIS violence since the summer of 2014, delivering emergency relief, healthcare and education to those in need. In 2015, we brought three Yazidi women over to the UK so that they could share their experiences of captivity with British students and help increase understandings of the horrors faced by those enslaved by ISIS.

Today, we are working to deliver long-term psychological support to women and girl victims of ISIS. We are:

  • Working with expert psychiatrists to train local GPs so that they can deliver quality psychological care.
  • Establishing 36 new psychological support centres in existing medical centres to deliver care to those living in camp and non-camp settings.
  • Developing a community-based social programme so that social workers can provide basic yet essential counselling and psychological support directly into homes.

But we urgently need your help so that we can deliver all of these services.

Please, donate what you can so that we can treat as many traumatised women and girls as possible and help them to overcome these horrific experiences.



HOW CAN I HELP?

AMAR has been working with those affected by ISIS violence since last summer, delivering emergency relief, healthcare and education to those in need. This summer, we brought three Yazidi women over to the UK so that they could share their experiences of captivity with British students and help increase understandings of the horrors faced by those enslaved by ISIS.

Today, we are working to deliver long-term psychological support to women and girl victims of ISIS. We are:

  • Working with expert psychiatrists to train local GPs so that they can deliver quality psychological care.
  • Establishing ten new psychological support centres within existing medical centres to deliver care to those living in camp and non-camp settings.
  • Developing a community-based social programme so that social workers can provide basic yet essential counselling and psychological support directly into homes.

Thanks to a generous kick-off donation, we are 7% of the way towards our fundraising target. But we urgently need your help so that we can deliver all of these services.

Please, donate what you can so that we can treat as many traumatised women and girls as possible and help them to overcome these horrific experiences.

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If you are a resident of the United States, please donate HERE.

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Additional Information About This Appeal

In the event that we do not reach our fundraising target, funds will be used to provide psychological support to as many women and girls as possible. If we exceed our fundraising target, additional funds will be used to extend this work and maintain the project beyond the initial two years.

Giving.Me is the Official Donations Portal Provider for AMAR International Charitable Foundation.  For more information about this campaign and AMAR International Charitable Foundation, email London@amarfoundation.org or call +44(0)207 799 2217

AMAR International Charitable Foundation: UK Registered Charity Number: 1047432

 

AMAR Foundation: Escaping Darkness | Giving MeJune 26th, 2017Giving Me Limited