“I have people who say ‘I’m sorry this happened to you’ and I say don’t tell me you’re sorry, tell me that you’re angry and you want to do something.”
I thought this story was really thought-provoking and emotional. Coming from a victim firsthand, It really shows you just how difficult it is to break out of sex slavery and human trafficking when there are controlling pimps and “daddies” brainwashing and beating you. Eden talks about how lingerie would be waiting for them on the hotel beds and how she would break down and cry when she got to be alone in the nice, warm hotel showers. She speaks of the one time she actually escaped and tried running away but found herself in an open desert that she did not know how to navigate, meaning she was caught and beaten unconscious. What is different about Eden’s story is that she made it her goal to gain the pimp’s and leaders’ trust so that she may be one step closer to freedom. However, when she does gain their trust and becomes a higher ranking woman, she is forced to traffic young girls just like she had been trafficked by her “boyfriend” at a young age. I couldn’t imagine the emotional position she had to have been in at that point… having to watch young girls be raped and abused just as she had, and having absolutely no way of stopping it or having any control over the pimps treatment of girls. Her escape story seemed like one from an action movie, which made me think about just how much skill and time it takes women to free themselves from the shackles of sex trafficking. Eden always had a thought in her mind that she would one day gain her freedom, which reminded me of the passage “Selling Sex for Visas” that we read earlier in the semester in which the women are always hoping to find their dream man who will fly them out to another country and proceed to live happily ever after. This idea of freedom is what keeps them locked in. The women in sex slavery do not have the ability to stop sex tourism like the women in “Selling Sex for Visas” do, therefore I think that while thoughts of freedom hurt the sex tourism women, it actually aids those in sex slavery in carrying on. I think it keeps them from just giving up and killing themselves. Women do escape sex slavery, and women like Eden are trying to speak out and gain help. She was no help in saving the girls from the pimps that captured her because they move around so well, but maybe one day we will find them along with the millions of others that are dreaming of freedom.
Wearing just their underwear, the girls line up with their backs to the wall, arms by their side, heads down, frozen to the spot. They dare not move.
Their captors walk up and down the line – picking them seemingly at random and tapping them on the shoulder – ‘You, you, you and you… come with me’.
In the back of a warehouse truck, they are driven for miles across the scorching Nevada desert until they reach a hotel. There, they are forced to have sex with up to 25 men one after the other.
This was life for Korean-born American Chong Kim who, at 19 years old, was sold as a domestic sex slave in 1994 to Russian gangsters and held captive for more than two years.
“The clients never came to the warehouse,” she recalled “That was just where we slept. There was nothing there but bed mats…
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