After Kim discusses the slavery and abuse that occurred during those dark years, a short talk will be provided by the director of “The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan,” which will be followed by a Q&A session. The council was established in 1990 to resolve the issue of what happened to the Korean women during the war, and recover human rights and dignity for the victims.
Like other Korean women who suffered at the hands of their captures more than 60 years ago, Kim is among those still alive who want compensation for the abuse.
“I was born as a woman, but have never had a woman’s life. I was dragged to the foreign army’s battles, and my entire life was ruined. When I started, the Japanese military would often beat me because I wasn’t submissive,”
It was in 1941—at the age of 15—when Kim was first sent to serve as a sexual slave in “comfort stations” in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Kim continued, “Every Sunday, soldiers came to the brothel from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Saturday from noon until 5 p.m., plus weekdays. It was very hard to handle. I couldn’t stand at the end of the weekend. Since I had to deal with too many soldiers, I was physically broken.”
Kim, who was born in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-
After several years of slavery, Kim was captured in 1945 by the U.S. military and became a prisoner of war. She returned to Korea a year later at the age of 20, and didn’t report her ordeal until 1992, the year she began her weekly protests in front of the Japanese embassy.
In 1993, Kim attended and testified at the “World Human Rights Conference” in Vienna, Austria, and has since testified during other events in Japan and the United States.
Last year, Kim proposed building a “Peace Monument” in front of the embassy in Seoul. This year, she founded the “Butterfly Fund,” which helps victims of ongoing sexual violence in Congo and Uganda.
The issue of comfort women continues to create friction between Korea and Japan.
The event is sponsored by the KAFC/ Korean American Forum of California.
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