The Unspoken History Of The Comfort Women

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The Unspoken History of The Comfort Women Overview The story of "comfort women"� has been a story of silence for the last 50 years. "Comfort Women"� was a term used by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, to refer to the women and girls who were coerced into sexual slavery. Between 1932 and 1945, approximately 200,000 women were forced into prostitution. The women came from China, Philippines, Taiwan, Burma, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. They were recruited through deceit or by force. Some were abducted at gunpoint, sold by family members, or volunteered because of false promises of high paying jobs at factories or restaurants. These women were taken to "comfort stations"�, some of which were homes, stables, dug out trenches, or even cages. Imprisoned for as long as eight years, these women were forced to have sexual intercourse with dozens of men a day. They were forced to give up their identities, loose their youth, and submit to the rape and abuse of the Japanese military.

By the end of the war many women died of diseases, suicide or were ruthlessly murdered. They returned home traumatized and ashamed and in fear of dishonoring their families. Influenced by the patriarchal power of the times, these women kept this buried secret for half a century. It wasn't until the early nineties that these women finally spoke about their traumatic experiences and demanded an apology and compensation from Japan. The Japanese government however, turned a deaf ear. They said comfort women were "willing prostitutes"� and denied much of its involvement in the issue. Weather these women were voluntary or not, scars remain from the crimes committed against them. In this essay I hope to inform you about an issue that has hardly been publicized. History had not told us...