A nine-year-old Yazidi girl, who was taken as a sex slave and raped by at least 10 members of the Islamic State terror group, is now pregnant and "severely traumatized" by the ordeal, an aid group has confirmed.
According to the Independent, the girl, who was among the 200 Yazidi women and children released last week after eight months in captivity, was in "bad shape" when she was found by a Kurdish aid group and may not survive the pregnancy.
"This girl is so young she could die if she delivers a baby," Yousif Daoud, a Canadian-based aid worker who recently returned from the region, told the AFP. "Even a caesarian section is dangerous. The abuse she has suffered left her mentally and physically traumatized."
After her release, the aid group took the pregnant girl to Germany to be looked after by a medical charity.
The aid worker said that the group of men who raped the young girl were frontline fighters or suicide bombers from ISIS, who were given the captured girls "as a reward." After sexually assaulting them, the militants released the girls "as a way of shaming the whole community."
Daoud explained that now, it will be difficult for the women and girls to live in their communities because of the stigma attached to females who are no longer considered chaste. "If they are married, their husbands won't take them back if they are pregnant. And it's clear that the babies will never be accepted," he said. "I don't know what the future would be for their babies. The girls and women don't want them. They have suffered so much they just want to forget."
Over the past year, ISIS has captured large portions of Iraq and Syria in an attempt to form a Caliphate in the Levant, a region also known as the Eastern Mediterranean, through "jihad." The group often targets Christians and Yazidies, and has asked them to flee the region, convert to Islam, or be killed.
In September, ISIS militants abducted between 1,500 and 4,000 women and children from the Christian and Yazidi community, according to the U.S. State Department. The fighters reportedly feel entitled to use captured women as sex slaves, viewing them as "spoils of war."
"When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman"s previous marriage is immediately annulled," explains Christian author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer.
"[However] Islam avoids the appearance of impropriety, declaring that the taking of these sex slaves does not constitute adultery if the women are already married, for their marriages are ended at the moment of their capture," he continues.
In December, London-based rights group released a report titled "Escape From Hell: Torture, Sexual Slavery in Islamic State Captivity in Iraq," which detailed the horrific plight of hundreds of Yazidi females who faced torture, rape, forced marriage and were "sold" or given as "gifts" to IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
"Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls have had their lives shattered by the horrors of sexual violence and sexual slavery in ISIL captivity," Amnesty's Senior Crisis Response Adviser, Donatella Rovera, said in a recent statement.
"Many of those held as sexual slaves are children, girls aged 14, 15 or even younger,'' Rovera added. The report noted that the trauma and sexual abuse suffered by the women and girls in captivity has driven several of them to suicide.
In its English propaganda publication, "Dabiq," ISIS earlier sought to justify its treatment of females, saying it is "Islamic" to capture and forcibly make "infidel" women sexual slaves.
"Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari'ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the Prophet ... and thereby apostatizing from Islam," the publication read.