The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Murad accepted the award at the National Press Club in Northwest on Monday, Oct. 8 at a news conference where she championed efforts against global genocide.
“Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others,” the committee said in a statement. “She refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected and has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.”
Murad belongs to the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq where she lived with her family in the remote village of Kocho. In August 2014, the Islamic State launched a brutal, systematic attack on the villages of the Sinjar district, aimed at exterminating the Yazidi population.
In her village, several hundred people were massacred; younger women, including children, were abducted and held as sex slaves.
While a captive of the Islamic State, Murad was repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. Her assailants threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful, inhuman version of Islam. After a three-month nightmare, she managed to escape after which she began speaking openly about what she’d endured. In 2016, Murad, then 23, became the U.N.’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.