After more than three years, Rita Habib, a 30-year-old Christian woman from the Iraqi city of Mosul, was recently reunited with her blind father in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. She and her father are the sole survivors of a family whose members, like thousands of Christians and other non-Muslims, was murdered by ISIS in mid-2014. Habib was among hundreds of Christian and Yazidi women and girls abducted at the time and sold into the sex trade. She was one of the lucky ones to be rescued by the Christian advocacy group, the Shlomo Organization for Documentation, which paid ISIS $30,000 for her release.
Abu Shujaa, a Yazidi activist who has been involved in rescuing hundreds of Yazidi women from ISIS, helps secure their release in various ways, but said that all require money, which is hard to come by.
When Raqqa, the former de facto capital of ISIS, was liberated by U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, many captured women were freed. Despite losing control of Raqqa and other major strongholds in Syria and Iraq, however, ISIS continues to enslave many of the women and girls it kidnapped during its rise in 2014. The world seems to have forgotten about them.