The Future of The Yazidi people is threatened because the female population segment, that group of girls mostly from 9 years to 25 years, has suffered:
- Death by Islamic State murder and by suicide;
- Pregnancies resulting from rape;
- Depression and suicide resulting from rape;
- Physical traumas resulting from horrible abuses and torture;
- Post traumatic stress disorders of a new magnitude;
- Being shunned by their own and larger community;
- Stigma of lost virginity as a secondary trigger for PTSD; and
- Large numbers, many thousands are missing. We believe more than 4,000 in the Mosul area.
Yazidi Rape Survivors
Updated April 27 (formerly “Kurd Obsession with Virginity leads Rape Survivors to Depression & Suicides.”)
The Yazidis (also Yezidi, Êzidî) ( i/jəzˈiːdiːz/ yah-ZEE-dees) are a Kurdish religious community whose syncretic but ancient religion Yazidism (a kind of Yazdânism) is linked to Zoroastrianism and ancient Mesopotamian religions. They live primarily in the Nineveh Province of Iraq which is part of the non-state nation of Kurdistan.
Islamic State Employs Gender-Based Violence as a Tactic of War
The Islamic State (IS) has targeted the Yazidi people for extinction claiming for some bizarre reason that the Yazidi faith calls for devil worship, something the IS say is deplorable to their version of Islam.
Says one witness from Sinjar, “I saw them separate the younger men from the older ones, boys, and women. They took the younger men, 200 to 250 of them, and executed them. The survivors were put on trucks and taken to Mosul or Raqaa and sold.
The RINJ Foundation has adduced in various releases that Islamic State Jihadists have been using systematic gender-based violence against Yazidi women for the purpose of eliminating the race. Torture and cruel treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, hostage taking, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and forcing persons to act against their religious beliefs are prohibited and constitute war crimes.
The IS have created a temporary marriage that allows sex with women the men are not married to. Abu Anas Al-Libi, seen in the picture below, executed over 150 girls on one single occasion before burying their bodies in Fallujah in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, creating more mass graves in the IS trail of inhumanity across Syria and Iraq. The reason for that particular crime he said, was because the women refused sex with the Jihadists. Hundreds more were raped in those days. Abu Anas Al-Libi is a wanted man. If you have any information about this person contact email@example.com or go to https://rinj.org/war-crime/report/
Using war-tactics of rape, kidnapping, physical torture, and sexual enslavement the IS fighters are under orders to attempt impregnating Yazidi women to violate their ethnic culture of not marrying outside their ethnicity and to destroy the genetic continuance of the ethnicity. Genocide.
Many if not most young Yazidi women have vanished from some communities near Shingal and if you walk through those towns today in mid-Spring 2015 you will not see female children above the age of 6 or 7.
The Islamic State Caliph issued a decree saying that temporary marriages are available to fighters to reward themselves with “comfort girls” age nine and up.
‘After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharī’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided as khums [fifth]. . . . Before Shaytān [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah. . . .’
In RSAC Middle East Asian facilities, RINJ Foundation Sexual Assault Clinicians are learning that the attitude of many people within the Kurdish and Yazidi cultures is causing the suicide death of young women, so strong is the obsession on virginity.
Returning to their community has been made difficult because they are not allowed to tell of their plight. Doctors in Kurdistan are breaking the law by performing abortions on young Yazidi girls who have escaped after being held as sex slaves by ISIS fighters. Traumatised after months of rape and torture at the hands of IS militants, some of victims have returned after falling pregnant by their captors and further risk of being ostracised by their community, which condemns women who have had pre-marital sex.
Deplorable Virginity Testing Done By Men in Kurdistan
The practice of attempting to determine a woman’s virginity by using a “two finger test” has no scientific validity and should never be used to examine victims of sexual trauma, according to a recent handbook from the World Health Organization (WHO).
For more WHO information, please contact:Department of Reproductive Health and ResearchWorld Health OrganizationAvenue Appia 20, CH-1211 Geneva 27, SwitzerlandFax: +41 22 791 4171E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/reproductivehealthAlso health care for women contact: email@example.com
WHO warns that “there is no place for virginity (or ‘two-finger’) testing,” which is still used in some countries in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Medical professionals say that the “two finger test” is not an accurate indicator of a woman’s virginity, largely because it’s based on myths about the female anatomy and furthermore, by international standards, such a test done on a minor or any person unable to consent is a serious crime of rape.
RAPE: The RINJ Foundation has, after two years of global rape research, adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of “rape” (which in somewhat different terms is also the Unted States’ federal meaning of rape) as
the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim
Although the WHO handbook is specific to rape victims, it’s renewing calls for a total ban on virginity tests around the world, which advocates say should be considered a violation of women’s rights. The RINJ Foundation , which has been documenting the practice in places like Kurdistan, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, is calling on governments to follow in WHO’s lead and put and end to this approach to female sexuality altogether.
Focus on Virginity Devalues Rape Survivors.
A specialized RSAC (RINJ Sexual Assault Clinic) nurse recently reported:
“Clearly we are paving new ground in Kurdistan. The ongoing mental health care we do is my primary focus. That means special education because rape survivors in most of the world cannot tell their family they are no longer a ‘virgin’ nor their community. We [currently] need to create an environment in which their basic needs are provided in isolation of people who would hurt them in any way, [including their family and community].”
Women in many countries are often required to endure the so-called “virginity test” for reasons that often have nothing to do with the woman’s interests. Turkey, Kurdistan, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq, to name a few, have had their fair share of controversial “virginity testing”.
Prejudice and negative stereotypes against women and girls are passed off as medical science by many doctors who wrongly believe they can determine a woman’s virginity.
Emphasizing the importance of virginity can ultimately make rape victims feel worthless because they’re not “pure” anymore. Research has also found that teens who take “virginity pledges” are more likely to struggle to maintain healthy relationships as adults, and may actually have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections. (Dr. Sherria Ayuandini)
In Kurdistan and in other places in Iraq, the “virginity test” is either visual or done by forcing “two-fingers’ into the vagina. A woman is considered a virgin when there is no visible sign of “defect” on her hymen and a tight vaginal opening. Neither is valid.
These are the two aspects often used to determine a woman’s virginity: an intact hymen and a tight vaginal opening. Both in some arcane cultures are believed to signify virginity in women; but neither is a reliable basis for such a conclusion. In either case, the “test” invasion is an assaultive sex crime.
Explaining the Hymen
The hymen is a membrane in the vaginal canal. Many people are under the impression that a virgin hymen resembles either one of these two things: a balloon-like membrane covering the vaginal canal, or a ring-like flesh with a smooth edge but in reality, neither are true.
- The hymen looks like the petals of a flower. It has notches, folds and clefts, even in its virgin state.
- The hymen is flexible with different densities.
- Some hymens are thin and some are thicker than others.
- In the event of a penetration, the hymen might be scarred but often, the hymen stretches and is left undamaged.
- It is inaccurate to think that a sexual act will always result in changes to the hymen.
- A virgin woman’s hymen might have a big opening and several clefts here and there; this is the type of hymen that many incorrectly believe to signify that a woman has experienced sexual penetrations.
Most practitioners are reluctant to be asked for their opinion on whether or not a woman is a virgin based on the condition of her hymen.
Kurdish Obsession with Virginity leads Rape Survivors to Depression, Suicides and Unnecessary Surgery
According to a Nurse-led RSAC manager in Mosul, Iraq:
“Here in Mosul and in the surrounding regions of Kurdistan, Focus on Virginity is Causing RSAC Patients to Contemplate Suicide. Many rape survivors who are not under any kind of formal care do commit suicide. The problem is the obsession with virginity among the Iraqi and Kurdish communities. This obsession is handing an easy genocidal weapon of rape to the Islamic State.”
Some Yazidi women who were kidnapped and raped by ISIS militants have been undergoing hymenorrhaphy or hymenoplasty or hymen reconstruction surgery to attempt restoration of their hymen because ancient custom requires the woman to bleed during intercourse on her wedding night, a somewhat extreme obsession with virginity. At least a dozen women in Spring 2015 have sought this suregery saying they fear they will be shunned by future husbands.
“The hymen’s a delicate membrane that symbolically separates girls from women,” explains Dr. Robert Stubbs, who runs the Cosmetic Surgicentre in Toronto, where, in a simple, half-hour operation, he turns sexually experienced women into surgical virgins in a relatively simple procedure that stitches back together what has been shattered.
The surgery is often done on the insistence of family members.
Crimes Against The Yazidis
By Combattants Other Than ISIS
The conscious decision to commit a crime of sexual violence is made by a certain percentage of the human population. Sexual violence crime has a high rate of occurrence among soldiers, globally.
For example, the Canadian Military has in its ranks a high incidence of alleged sex offenders and offences as well as other misogyny problems. So does the USA military have these problems. So does the Peshmerga, but on a brief overview, it would seem the Peshmerga as a regular military unit within the Iraqi Security Forces, has fewer reported issues per thousand members than do the “Iraq-portion of the ISF”, American and Canadian Forces. Perhaps a closer study would reveal something different. We don’t predict that. In any case, a military organization that excuses sx offenders becomes a haven for sex offenders and loses its war-fighting ability. That is true of any pervasive corruption. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) is a perfect example of what such corruption can do to the effectiveness of a fighting force. By June 10, 2014, the ISF was innefective as a fighting force in dealing with even minor challenges.
In the case of ISIS, crime against humanity is part of their written and approved methodology for fighting wars. They are an admitted genocidal organization by word and by act and must be stopped as an entity (state, organization, group or whatever that entity may be at the time).
Individuals who commit gender-based crimes or crimes of sexual violence in other organizations are presumed to be exactly that, individuals committing crimes, and they must be prosecuted as individuals and in times of conflict we are talking about war crimes committed by an individual.
When people within organizations like the “Coalition opposed to ISIS” commit crimes identical to those of the force they oppose, those individuals must be prosecuted. Humankind is fed up with wars. War fighters have no licence to act in an inhumane manner. Forget governments, humanity will never again tolerate this conduct. Hence:
The RINJ Foundation as a Non Government organization guided by its global stakeholders will unequivocally expose and attempt to have prosecuted any sexually violent actor or any act of gender-based violence by anyone, any group or entity, at any time.
In respect of the Yazidi people, subject of this paper, what some former Peshmerga soldiers have told us as well did some Yazidi female survivors, is instructive. The allegations are that:
Soldiers had been asked to do commercial work for Kurdish leaderships’ business interests not far from the city of Sinjar. The soldiers moved some of the business things because ISIS was advancing. Soldiers were promised “R&R” and Yazidi girls as comfort women and some cash as reward. Soldiers were then told to get out of Sinjar to hide evidence.One can presume that it was expected ISIS would destroy Sinjar and there would be no survivors to tell the stories of corruption or malfeasance.
But as history repeats itself again the Yazidis ran into the mountains and everywhere they scattered. Hence some stories lived.
We believe the Republic of Kurdistan should prosecute those cases relating to the few Peshmerga soldiers who got out of line–or they will try and shove them under a rug. The latter won’t work.
RINJ Sexual Assault Clinics
RSAC (RINJ Sexual Assault Clinics) are Nurse-led sexual assault medical clinics treating rape survivors in combat zones and refugee camps in the Middle East and in Africa. New locations are planned.
- The RINJ Foundation’s RSAC policy is that each patient’s case is completely private.
- The sexual conduct or virginity of a woman is her business.
- The sexual activity of a minor child involved with an adult is a criminal matter for legitimate law enforcement and properly licensed medical practitioners.
The RINJ Foundation’s RSACs are full service medical facilities for women and children. Community related services such as victim advocacy, crisis hotlines, community outreach, and education programs are also available at the discretion of the local RSAC nurse-led team.
- Trauma care;
- Sexually transmitted disease detection treatment and prevention;
- Physical injuries treatment and minor surgery;
- Sexual assault forensic testing;
- Pregnancy issues, from abortion to delivering your baby;
- Legal course of action counseling;
- Criminal prosecution assistance;
- Mental health care; and
- all needed follow-up care.
- Women & Girls Daily Raped & Killed In Syria & Iraq. (Dec 2012 – Jan 22 2013)
- More Volunteers Needed (June 5, 2014)
- U.N. Plan To Counter Sex Crimes In War (July 11, 2014)
- How To Collect War-Zone Evidence of Sexual Violence (July 21 2014)
- Genocide Emergency – Yazidis (Aug 17, 2014)
- RINJ Is Building an ICC Case Against Each ISIL Rapist (Sep 3, 2014)
- Report A Rape Crime in a War Zone (Sep 11, 2014)
- https://rinj.org/documents/war-crime/ (Read Rome statute July 2002)
- The Plight of The Yazidi People
- Good News For Some Yazidi Women
- Women and Girls are Daily Raped and Killed In Syria.
- Emergency in Northern Iraq
- “Combattants Who Rape“
- “War-Crime Defined“
- The Plight of Yazidi Females in Nineveh Becoming Extreme (March 1, 2015)
- Islamic State Caliphate +Syria +Iraq +KRI = Failed States
- RINJ Foundation Says Iraq Failed To Protect Children – Yazidis (08/31/2015)
- https://rinj.org/documents/sinjar/ (RSAC-Sinjar Doc Repository)
- Pressing Need For USA and Iraq to Rejoin ICC