A 21-year-old Israeli-French tattoo artist, who spent 54 days in Hamas captivity, says she feared that she would be raped and there was only one reason her captor didn’t rape her.
“His wife was outside the room with the children,” Mia Schem said during an interview with Channel 13. “That was the only reason he didn’t rape me.”
“His wife hated the fact that he and I were in the same room,” she added.
Describing her harrowing ordeal, the 21-year-old says she was locked in a dark room and was under constant watch. She said she was starved and taunted by the fighter’s family while wondering if she’d be killed at any moment.
“Was closed in a dark room, not allowed to talk, not allowed to be seen, to be heard, hidden,” she says.
Mia Schem says that the constant surveillance by the “terrorist” made her feel like she was being raped with his eyes. She said at one point the captor had confided to her that he did not love his wife.
“There is a terrorist looking at you 24/7, looking, raping you with his eyes. There is a fear of being raped, there is a fear of dying … I was frightened,” she said, adding that the presence of his wife in the house had given her some reassurance – even though the woman treated her with hostility.
Mia Schem was kidnapped from a music festival in southern Israel on October 7 and was held captive by a civilian family in Gaza associated with the Palestinian outfit. She became a known face after she appeared in a video by Hamas claiming that the hostages were being treated well.
In a separate interview with Channel 12 News, the young artist said that she felt “like an animal in the safari.”
She was freed in a prisoner-hostage exchange during a temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. After her release, she made a bold appearance on Instagram, sporting a new tattoo with the defiant message, “We will dance again” also featuring the date of the attack.
Israel has launched a ground offensive in Gaza to annihilate Hamas, in response to the October 7 rampage, when Israel says gunmen killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages.