Escape From ISIS has had an incredible reaction from policy-makers, press and public alike.

I’m so grateful to the hundreds of people who have got in touch to express their appreciation of the film and ask what they can do to help the women and girls who suffer so much at the Islamic State’s hands.

This post will record some other highlights of the film’s impact.

It received phenomenal press coverage with double page spreads in the Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Times and the Sun, and feature pieces in Broadcast magazine, the Telegraph, the Radio Times, Huffpost, Buzzfeed, Grazia and The Debrief. I also did live interviews with MSNBC, Radio Five Live and a number of radio stations across America.

Channel 4 bravely chose to show the film no later than 10pm, despite the horrific nature of some of the content, which earned the film an audience of 1.1m, more than the Dispatches strand normally averages. On the night, public figures as diverse as Bianca Jagger, Baroness Warsi and Dermot O’Leary tweeted about the film. “Christ, that was an incredible piece of television,” he said.

The week after broadcast, Prime Minister David Cameron cited the film in his major policy speech on ISIS, noting that the Channel 4 documentary had shown the true nature of an organisation, “whose men rape underage girls and stone innocent women to death.”

I was also invited to testify about the film’s key findings at a special hearing on ‘Women Under ISIS’ at the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the US House of Representatives in Washington DC, on 29 July 2015. You can watch the full hearing, including my testimony on my Vimeo channel.

The Chairman of the Committee wrote to me afterwards saying, “our members were deeply moved by your efforts to document these atrocities [against women] in your film” and that the testimony would be valuable to the Committee’s planning on “how best to counter this terrorist organisation and alleviate the unbelievable suffering it has brought upon the region.”

Channel 4 also held a special screening of the film at Bafta, chaired by Channel 4 News foreign editor Lindsey Hilsum. The Head of the UK government’s ISIS Taskforce, Dan Chugg attended, as did the senior FCO adviser on the UK’s National Security Council. You can watch the Q&A that followed the screening also on my Vimeo channel.

Among the hundreds of people who have volunteered their help are a psychologist offering her services to traumatised victims for free, communications equipment for the rescue teams offered by a security consultant and a famous Hollywood actor who has donated $5,000 to a charity working with female survivors of the ISIS attack.

It stands in great contrast to the inhumanity of the ISIS terrorists who inflicted so much damage on the women and girls in the film. So thank you all.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Johannes says:

    Dear Mr Watts,

    watching your documentary was really moving. Is it possible to help those People trying to free their families and friends? Please le me know if there is the possibility to do anything.



  • Well done Ed, this is amazing! Unfortunately we did not manage to see your film but hope to soon. Good luck with your next venture.

  • Maureen Stanton says:

    Great job revealing the problem and heroism but really you need to tell us how to help donate to help . Please send me this information. It breaks my heart and I am so overwhelmed with his bravey and the atrocities these women are facing. Googling for information, I just read people asking for how they can donate but no one responds. Why can’t anyone get information on how to help Khalil al-Dakhi? please send to me. Thank you.

  • Carola says:

    Dear Ed,
    Your documentary was just broadcasted on Australian’s ABC Four Corners. What a courageous yet very disturbing documentary. I did find it very hard to watch this and listen to the testimonies of these young girls and women. Some as old as my little niece. I don’t even want to imagine what they have suffered so disturbing it was to watch for me. How can any human being do this to another??? Thanks so much for your courage to show your work to the world and thanks to volunteers like Kahill and his men who jeapardising their own life and the life of their family to rescue these women and fighting ISIS. What brave men.
    I hope that some of these families will find a better place in Germany.

  • Carola says:

    Hi Ed, sorry for mis-spelling Khaleel’s name in my previous comment. He’s an incredible man and deserves for his name to be corrected by me.
    Thanks again for your very powerful documentary.

  • Sara Warner says:

    I have just seen your documentary and was moved to help. .I have limited funds but have thought of a possible way to raise money for these poor women. .I would appreciate your contact via my email to discuss the possibility. .Thank you for a wonderful but heartbreaking insight Sara

  • Carol says:

    Powerful and moving documentary, thank you.
    Khaleel and company are heroes. As are the female victims portrayed.

  • Russell Williams says:

    Dear Mr Watts

    Thank you for an incredible and heart wrenching project and insight. It was so moving and inspiring that there are successes.
    With all the talk about God… the old saying about working in mysterious ways is so evident here.
    A heroic and important thing you have done.
    Best Wishes
    Russell Williams Australia

  • Lisa diLiberto says:

    Dear Edward,
    Thankyou for having the insight and bravery to document Kahleel and his friends and share their incredible journey with the world in saving these women and girls from the unthinkable. Setting up a platform to fund trauma therapy for the victims and provide support for everyone involved shines the light on the good in dedicated individuals, in what often feels like a corrupt world.

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