These powerful pictures show the survivors of Boko Haram.
The extremist group operate mostly in Nigeria – they’ve been called the world’s deadliest terror organisation and their brutal attacks have killed more innocents than Islamic State.
These images show the brave but broken survivors.
Photographer, Ruth McDowall, explained that both boys and girls abducted by Boko Haram are often threatened into marriage, enslaved, forced to convert to Islam and raped.
Others are trained in killing and given guns and girls as young as 11-years-old are being sent out as suicide bombers.
In each image, the survivor tells of their harrowing experience at the hands of Boko Haram. More pics after cut...
Hauwa, 15In 2009, Hauwa and a friend were abducted by a couple who knew her mother. They were members of Boko Haram. The woman said she’d like to make the two young girls her ‘Muslim daughters’.
When Hauwa resisting converting to Islam, she was severely beaten.
Her friend was raped by the man and fell pregnant.
The girls eventually managed to escape after hitting the woman with a brick and locking her inside the house.
When she returned to her family Hauwa found out her father had been killed.
Blessing, 19In September 2013 Boko Haram broke into Blessing’s house and shot her brother.
They then ordered Blessing and her sister-in-law to denounce Christ and turn to Islam.
She agreed out of fear, she was then forced into a marriage with an insurgent called Abul.
She managed to run away with two other girls.
Martha, 14Martha was captured by Boko Haram in 2014 while on her way to a wedding. They killed her brother and abducted Martha and her sisters and held them in a camp near Gulak.
She said: ‘I stayed there for four months. I suffered greatly during this time, sometimes there was not enough food and I hardly bathed.
‘They taught me how to use a gun, and I went on two operations with them where I would carry ammunitions, but I could never bring myself to kill anyone.
‘I met some of the Chibok girls, and they had been taught to kill people. They tried to force my sister to kill an old man, when she refused they shot her instead, I watched people being slaughtered like ants.’
Martha pretended she needed the toilet and managed to sneak away during the night.
Hannah, 15Hannah’s house was raided in 2013, she and all of her female relatives were taken.
They were all threatened into converting to Islam and Hannah was forced into marriage while she was just 14 years old.
Since her escape she’s struggled with memories of being help captive, but hopes to complete her education and become a business woman.
Lydia, born in 1994Lydia was captured while on a bus home from school and held at a Boko Haram camp in the Sambisa forest.
She was forced to change religion and often wouldn’t eat for days as rumours circulated about the terror group feeding hostages human flesh.
Eventually some of the insurgents realised they knew Lydia’s family and they let her go – an extremely rare occurrence. She burnt her hijab when she left and is still plagued with nightmares about Shekau, who is considered the organisation’s leader.
Markus, 28Markus was taken while in hospital recovering from a road accident in 2014.
He was held for nine months and often other hostages were killed right in front of him.
Markus had to bide his time until his leg was healed, so waited until rainy season when he could run away without his steps being tracked.
He is still too afraid to return to his home town.
Most of the young people that were abducted by Boko Haram have moved to new cities for their own safety.
Plateau State is one of the places they’ve been relocated to.
Mairama, 16Boko Haram raided Mairama’s village in 2013.
She was enslaved into cooking duties in a Gwoza hills camp and forced to marry.
When she refused to sleep with her husband, he threatened to kill her.
Another woman showed her the path to escape and they spent two whole days walking and running through the bush.
Mairama’s now back in school and she hopes to one day become a nurse.
Sarah, 20Sarah, 20, was captured when a Boko Haram member posed as a public bus driver.
She was held hostage for three days before being released.
Ladi, age unknownLadi was snatched in 2013 while farming near her home in Gwoza.
She spent three months in a Boko Haram camp, they were going to slit her throat if she didn’t convert religion.
One day she faked severe stomach pains so she would be taken to a nearby hospital, that’s how she escaped.
Ladi’s not at school any more and she has found it extremely difficult to come to terms with her ordeal.
These are the victims who managed to get away with their lives, many others weren’t so lucky.
Ms McDowall, who captured the Malaiku (Angels) Survivors of Boko Haram set, said: ‘The Chibok attack on April 14 2014 was the largest case of Boko Haram abductions, 276 girls taken, 57 managed to esape. It brought the attention of the world on Nigeria and the atrocities caused by Boko Haram.
‘Escapees of the Chibok attack have received some counselling and educational scholarships however there remains a serious lack of support for girls and boys abducted.’
She told : ‘It was important for the surviors to trust me, and get to know me.
‘I don’t like to rush my work, I like to take time, and build relationships with people. I visited the survivors every 3-4 months and would spend a few days with them.
‘I wanted them to retain some control over the photo shoot and be able to express themselves in some way, they chose their favourite clothes to wear, and made an effort to dress up for the portraits.’
She added: ‘The survivors of the abductions want their stories to be heard. They want people to know of the atrocities Boko Haram is committing in northern Nigeria.
‘Despite the mass media coverage of #BringBackOurGirls, the abductions and conflict is still under-reported, it is actually worse than what is seen in the media.
‘Their abductors are not prosecuted or caught, so this is also a way for them to gain some control back over their situation and have a voice.’