Sex slavery forms lucrative and critical role for Islamic State, Boko Haram

By Victoria Craw,

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After being captured by Islamic State, a group of young girls were forced to stand against a wall while men groped their chest.

“If she had breasts then she was OK to rape,” said a Yazidi survivor recounting the experience. “If she did not have breasts they kept her there for another three months and came back to see if she had grown in the meantime; whether she was good for raping then.”

The young woman revealed she was forced to watch other girls being raped in front of her, before becoming pregnant and trying to throw herself down the stairs to force a miscarriage.

“Even women who had three or more children were raped in front of their children,” she told the UK government in 2015. “There are thousands of other girls right at this moment, in Iraq, in Syria, going through the same thing or about to go through the same thing. Nobody is talking about them and nobody is doing anything.”

The harrowing experience forms part of a new report by the Henry Jackson Society’s Nikita Malik, looking at how sex slavery has become a lucrative and critical trade for terrorist groups like Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab in recent years.



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