The extremist group ISIS is going door to door, abducting, enslaving and repeatedly raping girls and young women in Iraq. Those who manage to escape are often the sole survivors of their families, alone in unfamiliar towns. But MADRE and our local partners are there for them. We're opening a brand new shelter and rape crisis center for young girls who have escaped sexual slavery. Here, they will find safe haven, urgent care, and lasting support to rebuild their lives.
Since its invasion of northern Iraq, ISIS fighters have systematically raped and kidnapped girls into sexual slavery. They have taken sex slaves so young they haven't yet reached puberty, causing some to sustain injuries so severe they need reconstructive surgery to recover. If survivors of this violence escape, many are left with nothing-no family, home or belongings. These girls and young women with literally nowhere to go are in urgent need of shelter, trauma counseling and medical care.
Thanks to MADRE and our local partners, these girls and young women are not alone. We're opening a brand new shelter and rape crisis center in the Kurdish town of Zakho, near a refugee camp for Yazidi survivors of the Kojo massacre. Here, girls who have bravely escaped sexual slavery by ISIS will receive food, clothing, trauma counseling, shelter and medical care. And this safe haven will offer these survivors the urgent aid they need to heal from their traumas.
This safe haven will more than meet pressing needs for medical care, food and shelter. It will offer counseling, mentorship, literacy programs, job training and human rights education. These programs give girls the tools and skills they need to rebuild their lives, in a supportive, loving environment. Young girls who have survived abduction, repeated rape and enslavement by ISIS will finally remember what it feels like to feel secure and to imagine a safer, happier future.
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