In the first part of her story, Joy shared the details of her life in North Korea and how she made her daring escape. Read “Part 1 – Growing Up in North Korea”.
After I finally got picked up by the broker, we got onto a bus. The bus got stopped by Chinese police twice and every time the police came aboard I pretended to be asleep. I was ready to take the opium pill I had stashed in the collar of my shirt and end my life if I got caught, but thankfully I didn’t have to. I got some rest for a couple of hours after I arrived at the house and then I was connected with the second broker. The second broker was a North Korean defector. I told her that I wanted to live with an old Chinese couple as their foster granddaughter. She shook her head and told me my only option was to be sold into marriage to a Chinese man so all the brokers who helped me escape could take my bridal cost as payment.
I couldn’t even think of refusing because I was afraid the brokers would do something bad to me or drop me off somewhere alone to get caught by the Chinese police and sent back to North Korea. I had also heard that if North Korean women refused to get married in China, then they could be sold to brothels or sex websites so that the brokers could receive payment. At that point, I realized that I was trapped and I didn’t have any other choice but to be trafficked. The second broker told me that I could escape after living with my Chinese husband for at least six months. If I escape in less than 6 months, the brokers that sold me would return my bridal money to the Chinese husband.
The second broker took me to different small towns to sell me. Every time I went to a town, many old Chinese men gathered around me to bargain my bridal cost. I felt so ashamed. I was being treated as an animal and not as a human being. The North Korean broker finally found a man who was willing to pay the amount the broker wanted for me as a bride. I couldn’t even communicate with him because I didn’t speak the language. I remembered looking at the broker’s face. She seemed to pity me. My whole being at the moment was filled with so much bitterness, hopelessness, and sorrow toward everything in the world. I felt like I was losing everything including my own body to someone I didn’t even know. I was only 18.
Continue reading Part 3 of Joy’s story where she shares about her escape from the Chinese man and her rescue journey through LiNK’s networks.
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