Wednesday, December 16, 2009

RIP Kim Hak Soon Halmoni

Today the memorial service for Kim Hak Soon Halmoni, the first of the survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery to come out publicly with her story in 1991, was held in South Korea. Kim Hak Soon Halmoni took the leap of faith required to come forth and share her story on TV all those years ago, thus laying the foundations for the international movement of support for the former "comfort women" throughout Asia. Each Wednesday, former "comfort women" and organizations that support them have been protesting in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, but are still waiting for official recognition from the Japanese government.

Yesterday, sadly, one of the few surviving former South Korean "comfort women", Kim Ok-seon Halmoni, passed away. The survivors are elderly, and they don't have much time left to hear the long awaited official apology from the Japanese government. To learn more about the former "comfort women" click here:

You can write your comments to the Japanese government about the need to apologize officially to the vicitms of wartime sexual slavery by submitting a message on the Japanese government website here:

THEN and NOW...

Approximately 200,000 women were trafficked into military sexual slavery by Japan between 1932 and 1945. Talking to the survivors in South Korea, hearing the stories of how they survived between 1945 and when the movement of support started in the 1990s, it is clear how difficult life was, dealing with their physical and psychological trauma, in many cases abandoned in foreign countries with no means of support.

TODAY in South Korea, Filipina victims of sex trafficking are facing similar hardships as they attempt to rebuild their lives after being deceitfully recruited as singers and then being forced into prostitution by "promoters" and club owners, usually around US military bases. Their reasons for coming to Korea---to earn money to support children and family at home---remain, and DURAEBANG , "My Sister's Place" Shelter, is assisting them with legal support, vocational training to help them find other jobs, and providing a safe and supportive space for their healing.

Today, in honor of Kim Hak Soon Halmoni, Kim Ok Seon Halmoni, and the thousands of other known and unknown victims and survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, please make a donation, as small or large as you can afford, to help Filipina women dealing with very similar trauma TODAY in South Korea. Any funds you donate for this campaign will go directly to DURAEBANG where they will be used to support the shelter and Filipina women going through legal procedures against their traffickers. Please help them make a stand and get the help they need now---it's time we put a stop to trafficking and sexual exploitation!

For more information, see our FB event page:

To send a donation by PAYPAL, you can do so with a direct link housed on our website:

To send a donation within Korea, you can make a direct bank transfer to:
Bank: KB Bank (Kookmin Unhaeng)
Account #: 368102-01-146063

This fundrasier is being coordinated by members of the International Outreach Team of the House of Sharing, in collaboration with Lila Yoga. If you wish to know more information about us, please feel free to get in touch.


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