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The Women Who Used Tattoos to Save Themselves From Sexual Slavery


venus in converse ~

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When the Japanese Imperial Army occupied countries across Southeast Asia during World War II, soldiers kidnapped thousands of young women to serve as “comfort women†or forced sex workers. But on the tiny island of Timor, local women figured out how to use the Japanese forces' apparent respect for married women against them and save themselves from sexual slavery. These women chose to heavily tattoo themselves—thus marking them as “taken†or married according to local beliefs. The plan worked. Japanese soldiers avoided the tattooed women of Malaka, Timor, and the women were able to avoid the dark fate that hundreds of thousands of others were forced into. Many believe that the ritual stopped taking place in the 60s when the New Order regime perpetuated the criminal stereotype for the tattooed. Today, only a few of these “tattooed women†remain alive. VICE host Kathleen Malay travelled to Malaka to hear their stories.

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I'm not really in the state of mind to watch a video on this depressing topic, but I don't understand why the Japanese would be stopped by knowing these women were married? Did they really care not to abuse the married women?

 

I read a book on Philippine comfort women, so I recall that the Japanese Imperial army preferred to rape virgins or unmarried girls first. Some married filipino women would slide their wedding bands on unmarried girls' fingers to protect them from the rape.

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