Women who have found safety in Canada after being held as slaves in Syria and Iraq are now being threatened by anonymous male callers.
Five women and one 14-year-old girl in the Toronto area filed reports with police after they received threatening calls and texts on their private phones.
All six are practitioners of the Yazidi religion who were held as sex slaves by ISIS before escaping to Canada.
The calls include threats of rape and other violent acts.
One woman who was bought and sold six different times by ISIS fighters in 2014 said “we came here for safety, but after these threats, I don’t feel safe. We want to live without threats and fear.”
They all say they fear for their safety and the safety of their families.
Yazidis are a small religious community native to Iraq and Syria. During the rise of ISIS they were victims of ethnic cleansing.
Like those from other minority groups, thousands of women were forced into sexual slavery by ISIS.
The Conservatives advocated for Canada to offer asylum to exploited Yazidi women. After many months, the government eventually supported her motion.
“They are survivors of genocide. They are survivors of sex slavery and they came here to Canada starting a new life to be safe and sound and now this nightmare seems like it is repeating itself,” said Rev Majed El Shafie, a human rights advocate.
El Shafie says many Yazidi women still live in fear that their former abusers will find them someday.
“In one of the messages, the criminal was saying, you know: ‘We will rape you as we did in Syria. We will rape you again in Canada,’” he said.
The anonymous callers all have middle eastern accents, but police are still trying to figure out exactly where the calls are coming from.