She described to me in chilling detail, how the jihadis first demanded that members of her Yazidi religious minority convert to Islam. Then they stripped villagers of their jewelry, money and cellphones. They separated the men from the women.
A United Nations report explained what happened next. ISIS “gathered all the males older than 10 years of age at the local school, took them outside the village by pick-up trucks, and shot them.”
Among those believed dead were Jana’s father and eldest brother.
A different fate lay in store for the women.
Jana described how girls like herself were separated from older women, then bussed to the city of Mosul.
There they were put in a big three-story house with hundreds of other young women. The men of ISIS came periodically, and chose up to three and four girls at a time to take home with them.
“These women have been treated like cattle,” explained Nazand Begikhani, an adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government on gender issues.
“They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They’ve been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags.”
Perhaps more importantly, Begikhani is also a researcher at the UK-based University of Bristol’s Gender and Violence Research Center. According to the field research and testimonials of Begikhani’s team, ISIS kidnapped more than 2,500 Yazidi women.