Their captors separated the men and the women and took their possessions. For the thousands of women in captivity, they raped the girls as young as seven years old and forced them to convert to Islam. Some of the older women were deemed unworthy to keep as sex slaves and killed.
"Why are these innocent kids and these innocent people suffering this much in that region?" Sleman asked.
"Why don't we see any action being taken? Even though it's been over a year and a half now, we've seen horrible things happen to use minorities, especially Yazidis and Christians, in that region, and we don't see the international community taking concrete actions against the Islamic State."
Recent recognition that a genocide is taking place in the Middle East – by the European Union Parliament, the U.S. State Department, and the British House of Commons – has given hope to the victims, both Isaac and Sleman said.
But more needs to be done.
The next step is for the United Nations Security Council to declare genocide and refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. A petition by the group CitizenGO asking the U.N. to declare genocide and take action to protect the religious freedom of minorities has garnered over 170,000 signatures, and was delivered to U.N. headquarters Friday morning.
The word "genocide" carries deep significance, Isaac insisted. When she testified before the UK Parliament, she brought along a 16 year-old girl who had witnessed inexpressibly barbaric atrocities. The girl had seen her own father murdered before her own eyes, and had witnessed the repeated rape of a nine year-old girl until she died, as well as a mother fed the ground-up remains of her own child by ISIS.
"Though the legal arguments were very important in that parliamentarian decision in the House of Commons," Isaac said, "it is those stories that moved the House of Commons [to declare genocide]."
And when the body declared that genocide was taking place in Iraq and Syria, the girl cried "oh God, oh God, thank you God, You heard our cries," saying it was "justice for our people" and their "honor and dignity returned," Isaac said.
Afterward, she called a mother in Syria whose child had been murdered. "My son's innocent bloodshed has not been ignored," the mother responded to the House of Commons move.
"The first step, the first victory, is that healing process," Isaac said, the proof that "the survivors know" others are supporting them.
(Story continues below)
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