Lamiya Aji Bashar says she tried to escape from her abductors four times. After each attempt failed, the assault and sexual abuse got even more intense . But she held on to a firm belief that she would escape.
On the fifth attempt, in March, she finally managed to flee with two other Yazidi girls. However as they were escaping through Kurdish front lines in northern Iraq, the two girls were killed in a land-mine explosion and Lamiya lost her right eye.
Her whole family was reportedly abducted from their home near Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014.
Bashar still doesn’t know what happened to her parents, who are presumed dead. One of her six sisters, nine-year-old Mayada, is believed to still be being held captive. But her other five other sisters and her brother were able to escape. The girls are now in Germany and their brother in the Iraqi Kurdish region.
The young girl came through the torture determined to tell her story, even though the horror of the 19 months she spent as a sex slave with IS extremists left her deeply traumatized.