Magazine article Herizons

Sex Slaves Demand Apology

Magazine article Herizons

Sex Slaves Demand Apology

Article excerpt

Saying you are sorry can be a powerful act that recognizes responsibility and is often the first step on the path to reconciliation and healing. In Canada, we know the power of an official apology- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently offered official apologies to residential school survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador, to survivors of the Sixties Scoop, and to civil servants, military members and other Canadians who were discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In China, South Korea and North Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, the 200,000 women who were forcibly taken by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War to be their sexual slaves are still waiting for an official apology from the Japanese government. Three of these euphemistically named "comfort women" are profiled in a powerful and moving National Film Board (NFB) documentary titled The Apology.

Now in their 80s, these women continue to protest in the streets, to lobby internationally and to educate locally about all the victims of wartime sexual violence. Called "Grandma" as a sign of respect, Cao from China, Gil from South Korea and Adela from the Philippines tearfully and wrenchingly tell their stories of abduction, sexual violence and long-lasting shame from all those decades ago.

Cao was held for two years: "Whenever they wanted a girl, they just entered her room.... I gave birth to two children; I had to strangle the baby.. I was damaged so badly, and could never bear any other children. …

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