Iraq: Islamic State Forces Captive Women to Take Birth Control to Facilitate Rape

Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq have kidnapped and forced thousands of Yazidi women and girls into sexual slavery since 2012. IS claims that Islamic law allows the rape of captive women like the Yazidis if the women are not pregnant. Escaped Yazidi captives say that IS fighters force several methods of birth control on captured women and girls to ensure they are not pregnant while being raped. This IS prohibition against raping a pregnant woman is applied inconsistently, with some captors requiring women to submit to as many as three forms of birth control and some ignoring the law.

Many of the women who escaped described situations where they were forced to take birth control and then continually raped until they were sold to another IS fighter. The women described the double fear of either being raped or becoming pregnant with a rapist’s child.  

Compiled from: Callimachi, Rukminis, ISIS Pushes Birth Control To Maintain Supply Of Sex Slaves, New York Times (March 12,2016).