Recently-freed French-Israeli hostage Mia Schem said after her release that she only survived 54 days without being raped by her Hamas captor because his wife and children were in the same house, often just outside the room where she was kept.
Schem, a tattoo artist who holds dual citizenship in both France and Israel, was among the hundreds who survived the barbaric and unprovoked attacks in Israel on October 7 — only to be abducted by the Hamas terrorists as they returned to Gaza.
The 21-year-old told Israeli media outlets that she was kept in a dark room and told to stay quiet while her captor and his family starved her and taunted her.
“[I was] closed in a dark room, not allowed to talk, not allowed to be seen, to be heard, hidden. There is a terrorist looking at you 24/7, looking, raping you with his eyes,” Schem said.
“There is fear of being raped, there is fear of dying,” Schem continued, going on to describe just how isolated they had made her feel. “His wife hated the fact that he and I were in the same room. You feel like you want a hug, you know, woman to woman, to break down a bit. That’s all you had there. But she was so mean, she had such mean eyes.”
Schem had been in attendance at the Nova Music Festival — where hundreds had been slaughtered on October 7 — and when she had tried to get away, Hamas terrorists shot at her and set fire to her car.
“It was a split-second decision, whether to stay put and burn to death or go with him,” she said of her captor.
Once in Gaza, she said that she worried she might die when Israel Defense Forces began their counter-offensive — but that she trusted the military.
Schem was released as part of a hostage exchange during a temporary cease-fire in November, and has since spoken with a number of outlets about her experience.
“It was important to me to relay the truth about the nature of the people who live in Gaza, who they truly are and what I experienced there. It is important to you that the world understands, what? That I went through a holocaust,” she said in one such interview. “Everyone over there is a terrorist.”