A German program radically new beginning Yazidis survived captivity ISIS promise. But some women still desire to help

When Hanan escape Islamic State of imprisonment, there was not much to return. She and her five children had survived a year into a nightmare. After her husband to arrange finally created in the summer of 2015 their salvation, they have him locked in a dusty field in Iraq, where he lived in a tent. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still controls have called home, the area, and were not sure if he could ever go back. And Hanan was not sure if she ever felt the darkness inside escaped. So when, in the fall of 2015, Germany has offered the promise of security and the ability to heal from their trauma, it was not a difficult decision. a place in a pioneering program for women and children survivors to accept ISIS captivity means her husband to leave the field behind, but she had been told that he can connect it after two years. They and their children have grown up in the first flight of his life, from Iraq and his close-knit community, in search of security and treatment for what is still pursued. Hanan, now 34, was one of 1,100 women and children in Germany in an unprecedented effort brought the most affected by ISIS systematic campaign to kill and enslave the ancient Yazidi religious minority support. (TIME is the Hanan identified by his first name only for their safety.) The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in October 2014 strongly gives the program to help survivors of the captivity needed mental health treatment and support. In Iraq, it had been a rash of suicides among the severely traumatized survivors who have had minimal access to mental health care and face an uncertain future. Healing and a new beginning in Germany, far from the place of their suffering, state officials hope they can find women and children. But Hanan, these promises remain unfulfilled. German officials ever granted visa for men women leave their families, including Hanan, torn open-ended time. Like most women, who promised not to undergo shock therapy. It is often thought to kill himself. The only thing that keeps them says it is their children. Not all women are desperate. Some thrive in Germany, and others have become a global advocate for their community, such as the Nobel Prize in 2018 Nadia Murad. And ‘the most important face of a program that was as ambitious and well-intentioned, has inspired other countries such as Canada and France to follow. But experience shows Hanan parties do not live like the program their full potential, and shows how difficult it is for refugees to get access to mental health services, in a single program for this. Michael Blume, government officials, conducted the program, it seems like a “great success overall.” But he is troubled by the failure of women of the state to bring men to Germany. “A major humanitarian program should not be sabotaged by the bureaucracy,” he says. “But that’s what takes place.” Before leaving Iraq, Hanan said he was given information on a piece of paper what to expect in Germany. “I wish now that the paper could find,” he says, “because the promises they have given us must keep them, not all of them.” With ISIS time over Sincar swept the area in the northwest of Iraq, home to most of the Yezidis in the world, Hanan had more bear their share of hardship. His parents were killed in front of her when she was six. She and her two brothers went to live with his grandfather and his wife, where they were beaten, starved and forced to work instead of going to school. His sister died shortly after. In his early twenties, he fled the torture conditions at home by Hadi married. It ‘was the first joy of his life, he says; We like it a lot. Over the course of about seven years, he had taken four daughters and a son, who was only a few months of living in August 2014 ISIS Sincar captured and its systematic campaign unleashed extinguish the Yezidi. In the Yezidi city conquered, led fighters that men and older women. Boys were forced and indoctrination, sent military training. Women and girls have been sold into slavery, trading below fighters such as property and repeatedly raped. Hanan and her children were kidnapped from the more than 6,000 people. Hadi, who, working in a town outside the reach of ISIS when their village was captured as a laborer was beside himself when he was away his family has learned. delivered trapped inside started a few days airstrikes President Barack Obama of the United States on ISIS militants and US forces food and water to besieged Yazidis on Sincar mountain. In the following months, as the women and children Yezidis from captivity sleepers began vanishing agreement, while others were rescued by a secret network of activists, with horror stories, Yazidis pleaded for further international action. Former prisoners have been severely traumatized. mental health care in Iraq has been limited. And because the Yezidi faith does not accept converts or out of wedlock religion, women raped and forcibly converted to Islam by the ISIS members not afraid to welcome more in the community were. outside the Yezidi population to act in Germany, home to the largest of Iraq, officials decided in Baden Wuerttemberg. October 2014 The Winfried Kretschmann Prime Minister has decided 1,000 humanitarian visas and what has become known for, especially by women in North danger in Iraq and children and a special share project, € 95 million available (to $107 million) . The state recruited 21 cities and towns across the outlet of the south-western state in refugees, agreeing to common fee is € 42,000 ($50,000), while the state would cover the cost of their person health care for accommodation and other costs. to take two other Member States have agreed to another 100 people. Officials interviewed survivors of the program ISIS captivity in Iraq, with medical or psychological disorders as a result of their captivity choices that could benefit from treatment in Germany. The project was not limited to Yazidis, and a small number of Christians and Muslims were also selected. That was said when officers of every woman that members of the immediate family husband could apply for a visa for German rules on family reunification after two years as. Read: He helped the most famous Iraqi refugees fleeing ISIS. Now it is he who needs help, the program was revolutionary. No German government had never quite managed humanitarian entry program. And instead of waiting for travel dangerous asylum seekers across the Mediterranean in search of officials were and to bring them the most vulnerable to security. The first plane was the last flight, including the implementation Hanan landing along with other 111, in January 2016. Hanan March 2015, was sent to a pleasant hill town of about 25,000 people on the edge of the Black Forest . For officials (Asked about the city not be named to protect the survivors, that fear could be targeted by ISIS members.) The first three years, she with about half of the group in an old hospital in the town center living , which has been converted into a common residence. Hanan and her five children have occupied two rooms of a central corridor that used to sleep, and the other with a sink along one wall and a leather sofa worn along the way, like a living room. They shared a bathroom and a kitchen with large family next door. “The neighbors are worse than Daesh” he joked with a grin, using a derogatory term for ISIS. It was May 2017, more than a year after their arrival. She sat on the floor to breastfeed her youngest child, saber. At three, he was small for his age, but Hanan was too small. Her long dark hair was slicked back and wearing a long blue skirt and a dark sweatshirt. Your next youngest, Sheelan rose in the corner of a closet, smaller peers thick black pony. Haneya, they ring at 10 the oldest and Hanadi and Berivan, eight seven, fought with the neighbors’ children, their cries with music videos Kurds of competition from television. Hanan called out to stop them. Care for their five children Hanan performed only. It was often sick, but it was hard to go to the doctor because they have no help with childcare. He complained of painful gynecological problems and unresolved repeatedly raped. He wanted to go to the doctor, but she remains to be done for them of appointments and social workers said they were blowing their applications. And almost every day, he suffered debilitating headaches. A trauma therapist it came once a week in the shelter for a group meeting with women, but Hanan usually was not able to visit because of the children. And she did not want to talk about their experiences in front of other women. When asleep, nightmares came. One night he dreamed that they were back in captivity and ISIS fighters tried to take his eldest daughter, Haneya. Hanan her and the children to their cries awoke. Older girls about her time in captivity often spoke and sometimes had nightmares. “They are not like normal children,” said Hanan. “If the night, they ask me: Mom, do you think it will come to us Daesh” A year before, about six months after their arrival, that nightmare became reality. She was shopping for groceries when she finds out. He had cut his hair and beard, and swapped his robe for a blue T-shirt. But it was the ISIS member, his captor had been for a month for him. He stared, frozen in place. Li also saw: His eyes in recognition and surprise widened. Panic through her and then move their feet, take out of the store and around the corner. When he went to the police, he was gone. He said he treats them as if they had been hurt accidentally refugees to their former tormentors. But he knew what he sees. “How can I forget the man’s face, I raped?” Germany should be a sanctuary. Well, within the ancient walls of the hospital it was the only place he felt safe Hanan. Rarely dared threats remembered by her captors that she would find her if she ran away. She worried that the man might come out would come back to hurt them. The only identifying information that could give the police was his nom de guerre. And even if the police were stationed outside the property for a certain time after the report, Markus Burger, head of the department for refugees and resettlement office being of the city, his office has finally said received report that says there is no direct threat was, the police raised questions about the incident to the Attorney General, and a ministry spokesman said the agency was aware of the incident but could not comment further. At least one other woman in the program saw their hijackers in Germany, and then returned to Iraq, because they are not sure that they felt. Hanan could not understand why the police could not find the man. He began to see threats everywhere he went. Muslims speak Arabic frightened. Once in a park with their children, said a bearded man on a bench with them. Although she had never seen, he was afraid. He gathered the children and hurried back to the shelter. Yazidis are unrelated to trauma. The religious minority has suffered centuries of persecution and attacks by the Ottoman Empire to Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda. January Kizilhan, an expert in psycho-traumatology and psychotherapy trans who was the head of the program psychologist, was born into a Yezidi family in Turkey and immigrated as a child in Germany. Survivors of ISIS captivity have to deal not only with their own individual trauma of violence and family breakdown have endured, he said, but also the historic trauma sustained from their people, and the collective trauma of ISIS attempted genocide. But after the women arrived in Germany under the program, the shock therapy was not a top priority. initially focused on the lives of most refugees in Germany to Settings, Kizilhan said. It followed the situation back home, where a multinational coalition rings territory was removed from ISIS. With each victory, the Yezidi families waiting for news of their missing loved ones, hoping they would not be discovered among the corpses in mass graves. Most he had family members in the camps, and others are still in captivity. They were not willing to work with trauma therapy in the past because there was still a part of her. There was another, more fundamental obstacle to treatment: Most women were not familiar with the concept of psychotherapy. “In order to make them understand and help, because they would need, or how it would help, it takes time,” said Kizilhan. In many cultures of the Middle East, including the Yazidi community, often psychological trauma is expressed somatic, he explained – many women from a liver burns complained, headaches or abdominal pain when the root is a psychological, rather than physiological problem. In 2017 and 2018, the University of Tübingen and the University of Freiburg, who were also involved in psychotherapeutic care for participants in the program, conducted interviews with 116 women in the program. Ninety-three percent of respondents remained the same a year later met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder from post-traumatic stress during the first survey and the number. This makes the fact that only 40% of women received the trauma therapy, annual falls after their arrival. But Kizilhan insists the figure is no error. Some women just do not want therapy, he says, and can not be forced. He expects an additional third of women will be ready for therapy in the coming years. “And then we will be there to help them,” he says. “Each individual is different and different timing requirements.” The state decided the cost of healthcare for women indefinitely original plans to go on foot the bill for three years have been, after he spent only 60 million € (71 million $) of the allocated a € 95 million (113 $million) program. Kizilhan recognizes the challenges that women find therapists and translators working quite understood. Kizilhan and flower who led the special contingent project say the program was an emergency operation, and that a long-term solution is to build capacity for mental health care in Iraq. The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to resources they make € 1.3 million ($1.5 million) for the first master’s program for psychotherapy in Iraq determined to push started by Kizilhan at the University of Duhok in 2017. Kizilhan and flowers in Germany say that the program has successfully despite the difficulties. In the study, the University of Tübingen, 91% of women surveyed said they were happy to be in Germany, and 85% said they were satisfied with the program. When asked if they were satisfied with psychosocial care, the number is down to 72%, the. Hanan was found among those who are missing. Their struggle for access to medical care and therapy was two of the ways they can be heard through the long program. For their first three years in Germany, Hanan received minimal treatment, even if they wanted. Rarely attended group sessions, either because they are available and because of problems in the process of raising children. He said he was not offered individual sessions. Burger said as social workers, some women with group sessions seemed unsatisfied, were organized for individual therapy and Hanan began every few weeks with a therapist to talk. He said it helps a bit ‘, but he felt the same after each session. *** On a Wednesday in July 2018 Hanan left early German class shopping. Before leaving the house, he pulled on a built-in black blazer and beige shirt over her leggings. The clothes were new; which he had set aside the long skirts, dark sweaters and recently he had ever worn for a modern wardrobe from his escape. urged friends had to change, tease them that way was still dressed in life under ISIS. Hanan went to the store, traditional half-timbered houses as well and crates Window with geraniums and petunias crowded. He found a friend in front of the supermarket and stopped to chat before buying to see the chicken legs and vegetables. Managing the budget of the single-family something they had never done in Iraq, it was a challenge. Sometimes they do not have enough money at the end of the month. Two years after their former tormentors meet, the city began to feel less threatening, although Hanan yet I do not like going out at night. He attended a German language course four mornings a week. He never learned to read as a child, or write to learn German was doubly difficult, but progress was slow. It was also a couple of German friends, and she had found a way to decode their text messages, even though he could not read. Translate app and press the audio button when they receive a message, it would insert it into Google. A robotic voice would read out loud and she would respond with a voice memo. Back home, he put a rice cooker on the stove and Browning chicken, concerned about the logistics of their upcoming trip to Iraq began to visit her husband, Hadi. She learns through her social worker that he can pause, while she was away, and Hanan was not sure how you would make it through the month without money. It would be the second time that they had to travel to see Hadi. (The women were taken as humanitarian refugees, but as asylum seekers, have spared the process of applying for asylum and meant they were allowed to return to visit to Iraq family, unlike asylum holders.), Sabers was now four, spent his majority to live apart from his father, and did not recognize him. Girls do not miss it. E ‘became a distant memory. Two and a half years had passed since they left Iraq, he promised the last two years after Hadi could apply for a visa. Hanan social worker helped her file cards relating to his application for a visa. But whenever Hanan asked what was going on, he was given the same answer: Not yet. What we did not know was that Germany had moved its position towards refugees. The friendly attitude adopted the country as more than a million people poured into the country in 2015 seeking asylum chasing the middle of a game from right anti-immigration parties had fed cured. When asked women in 2015, and told them that their men could apply for a visa after two years, Kizilhan was in line with the rules at the time. But now the laws refugee visas and family reunification government have been strengthened. German courts also began against the decision Yazidis asylum application, was for them to go safely back to Iraq. So far they have not been men from women, in particular, the project received visa fee. It ‘hard to know how many pending Kizilhan says 18. After the study identified, it had 28 percent of the women interviewed men in Iraq. Continue reading: Syrian women embrace their new life in Germany. But at what cost? A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg, digitization and migration said, is that the “special rules” for granted admission for humanitarian family reunification, and are only allowed to protect “for the sake of human rights humanitarian or political interests. be ‘Special rules’ must be examined case by case’, he said, and the federal government in addition responsible for issuing visas, not the state. Kizilhan ministry safe Visa other members are family members may intervene to do. But the underlying political will of the creation of the special share project is evaporated. had in January Kizilhan he said recently with state Interior Ministry officials have met to ask that they find a way to bring men to Germany, but they told him that the modification of the federal law makes it difficult to do so. “that’s ridiculous,” says Kizilhan. ” If you can take place in 1100 with the special share, you can 18 people in one day. “When you travel to return to Iraq he said Kizilhan has men that require answers has been addressed, and is concerned that the State did not follow through. He notes that the immediate family of the women in Germany to bring their mental health-improving program objective-by would help reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms and to facilitate their integration into society. Hanan often spoke to Hadi arrival move into an apartment waiting for them. He had to live in fear of handling all the responsibilities without him in a new country. And she helps care for children who urgently need help they thought they are included in the program. They had spent a year separated by Hadi in captivity. Now they were separated again, still waiting for his family to come together. After Hanan visit to Iraq, months passed without news of Hadi seen. Both have begun to despair that may never materialize, their frustration compounded by a lack of information for the delay. In the spring of 2019, after three years of waiting, he decided Hadi could not wait. He borrowed the money and left for Germany along the irregular migration routes. It took eight months-was arrested in Greece on the road, but finally made it to Hanan. The meeting, however, was far from perfect. Upon his arrival in Germany, the happy couple once separated. Hanan does not discuss the details of their strangeness to say except that it has taken root due to their physical separation and left her upset. It is now in a relationship with another woman, and Hanan, told his children not in contact. His future in Germany is uncertain, it is too light if you will allow him to stay. Last summer Hanan furnished apartment moved to an apartment full of light for them in a quiet residential area of ​​the municipality hired. And ‘decorated bright orange-peach wall eating mandarins chairs at the restaurant, a shag rug and a sofa ocher color of carrots. While there are in the children’s room it has a bunk bed, sleeping in late every night usually in Hanan king-size bed, a tangle of arms and legs. E ‘was finally able to see a doctor to solve his persistent gynecological health problem, even though the pain of daily headaches are still there. No longer afraid to go out at night. On a Sunday morning in January it woke up too late, stunned the night before the hosting friends. Saber was updated and Sheelan, seven, plop on the couch to watch TV in Tom and Jerry, like Hanan bread in the kitchen. Squeeze small pieces from the dough, she was pounding each from hand to hand, in a thin slice of stretching. In Iraq, he had baked the bread in an outdoor clay oven. Here he used a small metal box oven, heated by an electrical coil placed on the countertop. He put each loaf on to sauté, then baked before the finished loaves stacked on the window sill. When he finished, they have the children gathered at the table, collect fried eggs, yogurt, tahini and cheeses with fresh bread. They chatted together in German; rarely talked to one more other Kurdish. Saber, mischievous and sensitive, speaks almost perfect German accent. After breakfast, the three largest of the table girls, washing dishes and sweeping the ground spontaneously. Hanadi, now 11, and Berivan, now 10, is to learn with round cheeks as her mother to swim in school. Haneya, now 13, reads and translates the email and type in German for the mother. “Sometimes I look at my children and I think, OK, I’m all in Ordnung.’Aber I feel bad,” said Hanan to cut on the couch. “It ‘a bad feeling inside of me, I do not know how to explain it. Sometimes I want to beat me, because this hurt inside feeling, and I do not know how to handle it. Many times I have thought of me to kill me, but then my children remember me they need me. “the situation with his Hadi who upset about ISIS longer think so, he said Hanan added that I do not know what to do or where to. He spent hours crying with a friend Yezidis, the other survivors, who lives nearby. This is the next time you come to a therapy. After Hanan in the apartment went, she ended their therapy sessions. A few months later, social workers took them to an appointment in the office of a new therapist, but she did not flinch. He said the appointment time of 19:00 was impossible because there was no one to see the children at home. But she knows she needs help. “It ‘s too much for me,” he said. “I can not keep all these problems alone.” Continue reading: Germany is failing the women refugees? Burger, the city Department for refugees and resettlement, said many of the women in private apartments last year moved all but 10 of them difficult to organize therapy sessions now become live. Some therapists have waiting lists, and there is always the problem of the times, he said. “It ‘hard to find a time when the trauma therapist and translators both are present, and if the cure anyone to take the kids, and when the German courses at the same time not. But we work on it.” He could not count the number of women in the city give therapy underwent say it was evolving, but therapy was available to anyone who wanted it. “We can only offer,” he said. “Ultimately it is the decision of women, if they want to participate in the programs, and we want and no one can not be forced to attend.” Hanan know that it was right to come to Germany. And ‘better than it was in Iraq, where, despite the territorial loss of ISIS, the majority of Yazidis are still displaced, and their future is uncertain. Do you feel safe now in Germany, and she can see bright future for their children here. But they can not afford this hope for themselves, not to be missed by Hadi. The darkness never escape he hoped gone. “Maybe I’m crazy, or I’ll kill myself. Maybe I’ll find a solution except to die for me,” he said. “Now I’m 34, and I see no hope in my life. And for the future, I have no hope. Only God knows.” -With reporting by Navin Haji Semo and Madeleine Roache reporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Women’s Media Foundation Grants for signaling womanizer.