My name is Shamme. I am 27 and I have three daughters aged 6, 8 and 11. I remember the day ISIS came to Sinjar. I saw many people die that day. They separated my daughters and I from my husband. They took us to Syria and told us we have no God and no humanity. An ISIS man came and took me by the hair and forced me to marry him. If I refused to sleep with him, he would threaten to rape my daughters instead. Each night, he would come home with bloody clothes from fighting and I would have to hand-wash them. Then, one day, he told me he was going to be blowing himself up and so was selling me to another man. This next man was so bad to us. He would tie our hands behind our backs and only allow us out for prayer time. Once we tried to escape and he found out and put electricity on us all and gave us electric shocks to punish us. I saw women being stoned to death and many people with no heads lying on the ground. I struggled to sleep and felt like I was going crazy when this would happen. Later my children were put in Islam classes and taught to cut off Barbies heads, then chicken heads and then at 10 years old, human heads. I saw a ten year old girl given drugs and then gang raped by five men. When we ‘converted’ to Islam I was given a suicide vest and my daughter was given a grenade. One day we managed to escape through a smuggler. We walked for three days to get to safety. When we arrived, I was so happy; but realized most of my relatives had been killed or were still in captivity. When I went to Tutapona’s program, it made me feel better because we talked about how God can give you a hope and a future. Like many of my friends, I was also thinking about killing myself - but that would not solve the problem. If God is willing, we will be healed. We will not be under someone’s control. Our people will come back from captivity and Sinjar will be back as it was before.
My name is Ayenyo, and I am 35 years old. I have seven children aged 3-10 years old. When the war broke out, we had to leave very quickly. We saw many dead bodies as we fled, we also saw many people screaming as they were in the process of dying. In conjunction with that, my husband disappeared as we made our way here. My brother also is missing. We don’t know where they are or if they are dead or alive. And my brother-in-law was shot dead. By the time we reached Uganda, the suffering was too much and we passed through a lot of stress; but in the camp we arrived to more issues.
After we arrived my mind was really off. I started talking to myself and my senses were running away from me. I had seen so many dead bodies but had to keep going in order to save myself and my own children. I had nightmares where I remembered all of that happening. My children also had bad dreams and weren’t sleeping.
Luckily enough, God blessed us when Tutapona came and taught us the skills of how to manage our stress. After the program I really felt relieved and a little bit of hope for the future. I also put the skills the program taught us into action and it is helping me a lot. The most touching lesson was one on forgiveness, and I taught that to my children. I am recovering my senses, and am able to come and speak with people. If Tutapona was not here, and after experiencing all these bad things, I would have shortened my life. But this program is prolonging my life. My request is that Tutapona not leave us alone. We still have a lot of trauma and we want to continue receiving the services. That will help us in this life situation we are in.