Indonesia: Comfort Women by Jan Banning

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Niyem (born 1933) was one of tens of thousands of 'comfort women' forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II..As a 10-year-old child, Niyem was kidnapped while playing and taken in a truck full of women to a military tent camp in West Java. Once there, the prettiest women were locked up as live-ins by officers in their residences. Niyem had to share a small tent with two other girls, where soldiers raped them in the presence of others. She didn't get much to eat and had to drink water from a ditch. "I was still so young, within two months my body was completely destroyed. It's sufficient that I have had to go through it, my grandchildren should be spared this kind of thing. I was nothing but a toy, as a human being I meant nothing, that's how it felt during the Japanese era." After two months, Niyem managed to escape with a small group when the guards weren't paying attention. After she returned home, her parents didn't recognize her because she had become very thin and hadn't been able to wash her hair for months. "I didn't dare tell anyone that I had been raped, I didn't want to hurt my parents. I was afraid that no one would want me, that I would be left out. But people still abused me by calling me a 'Japanese hand-me-down'. Because I had been gone so long, they suspected what had happened. It hurt me tremendously." She managed to get married only at an older age, to an old widower. But she is very grateful that as an old spinster, she found a husband and had five children: "Without children, you have no history.".