FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Voices of Vietnam Launches to Raise Awareness of South Korea’s Vietnam War Sex Assault Victims
Surviving Women and their Children Bear Witness to Past Crimes, Start Change.org petition calling on President Park to Apologize during Washington Visit
WASHINGTON, October 12, 2015 – Voices of Vietnam, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about Vietnamese women who were sexually assaulted by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War, today launched its effort to chronicle stories of their struggle and survival online at www.VietnamVoices.org.
The website currently features the stories of 10 victims – including eight women who were raped by South Korean soldiers, one man who witnessed his mother’s assault at the age of 13, and one child born as a result of a rape known in Vietnam as the Con Lai Dai Han, or children of mixed blood.
One of the women, Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet of central Vietnam, also lends her story to a petition on Change.org. In it, Ms. Nguyen calls on South Korean President Park Geun-hye to acknowledge her assault and to formally apologize to her and the thousands of women like her on behalf of the South Korean government. President Park’s father, former President Park Chung-hee, served as South Korea’s president during the Vietnam War, during which hundreds of thousands of Korean troops were deployed.
Former Congressman Anh (Joseph) Cao of Louisiana, the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress, and Cyndi Nguyen, Executive Director of VIET New Orleans, will serve as co-chairs of Voices of Vietnam and its efforts.
“Even forty years later, the legacy of the Vietnam War is powerfully alive in the memories of those affected by it. This is particularly true for the thousands of Vietnamese women who were raped and sexually assaulted by South Korean soldiers. We are proud to join with these women, to share their stories of survival, to amplify their calls for recognition and acceptance, and to get them the apology they deserve,” Congressman Cao and Ms. Nguyen said.
During the Vietnam War, South Korean troops raped and sexually assaulted thousands of Vietnamese women across the country. Many of these women bore children as a result of their assault. These women and their children, the Con Lai Dai Han, have faced many challenges in the decades that followed. The South Korean government has never formally acknowledged what happened to these women.
Visitors to the website are encouraged to watch and share their own stories of survival, adding to the catalogue of testimonies from across the country.
For more information, please visit www.VietnamVoices.org.