„By now I had served thousands of soldiers. Sometimes I looked at myself in the small mirror in my room and saw that what I had been through was not etched in my face. I looked young and pretty. God, I thought, how can I escape from this hell? Please God, help me and the other girls free ourselves from here.“
„At two, the soldiers came. My work began, and I lay down as one by one the soldiers raped me. Everyday, anywhere from twelve to over twenty soldiers assaulted me. There were times when there were as many as thirty; they came to the garrison in truckloads.“
- Maria Rosa Henson
Between 100,000 and 200,000 women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military between the early 1930s and 1945. Yet successive post-war Japanese governments have refused to acknowledge what took place and no reparations have been made to the victims. Recent developments in human rights and women’s rights have led the surviving comfort women to overcome traditional taboos of chastity, defilement and shame and speakout for the first time, fighting against the cover-up and denials made by the Japanese Government. Their testimonies portray the coercion, violence, abduction, rape and false imprisonment they suffered at the hands of the Japanese military. Some women were as young as twelve years old when their ordeal began.