A Trauma Clinic for Yazidi Women and Girls in Iraq

In the summer of 2014, ISIS fighters abducted around 5,000 Yazidi women and girls and hundreds of children. Many of the survivors are severely traumatized and in desperate need of psychological support. In our unique trauma clinic they receive comprehensive treatment in a healthy environment

The Suffering of the Yazidis

ISIS’ jihadist ideology included a policy of systematic violence against women. The terrorists forced their extremist agenda on women and girls and made them a battleground of their “holy war”. Women of the millennia-old Yazidi faith became a particular target of ISIS violence. In their online magazine Dabiq, they have officially justified the enslavement and rape of Yazidi women.

Women and girls were abducted, sold as slaves, forced to work, coerced into marriage, and often subjected to severe sexualized violence. About 2,000 of them were able to escape or were ransomed by relatives. These survivors have experienced years of severe violence, lost loved ones and have been forced to deny their own language, customs and ethnic or religious beliefs. Many live in camps in northern Iraq and suffer from the emotional and physical consequences of their experiences.

An Inpatient Trauma Clinic for Women and Girls

Since November 2015 we‘ve run the first inpatient facility for traumatized Yazidi women in Iraq. Together with their children, the clients participate in treatment for their traumas over several months in a safe and healing environment. Our exclusively female staff, consisting of specially trained doctors, psychologists, trauma therapists, educators and nurses offer patients a variety of treatments and programs including:

  • Medical and gynecological treatment
  • Psychological treatment and trauma therapy in individual and group sessions
  • Physiotherapy and pain treatment
  • Sports and relaxation techniques
  • Excursions to promote the normalization of common everyday life
  • Child care
  • Information and events on health issues and women’s rights

Our goal is to stabilize the patients and to prepare them for a self-determined life after the hospital stay. For this, families and partners are involved in the therapeutic process.


Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights Chenar Seerwan Programmleitung Traumahilfe und Gesundheit

Chenar Seerwan
Head of Trauma and Health