Investigative Journalist

Eden: a sex slave’s story

with 586 comments


I am aware of the statement by the non profit organisation Breaking Out alleging that Chong Kim’s story lacks credibility. I have also read Ms Kim’s response to these allegations. I understand that legal action may be taken and will await the outcome of any proceedings that may occur.

In the meantime, I will not be posting any further comment nor shall I approve any comments in relation to this development.


Wearing just their underwear, the girls line up with their backs to the wall, arms by their side, heads down, frozen to the spot. They dare not move.

Their captors walk up and down the line – picking them seemingly at random and tapping them on the shoulder – ‘You, you, you and you… come with me’.

In the back of a warehouse truck, they are driven for miles across the scorching Nevada desert until they reach a hotel. There, they are forced to have sex with up to 25 men one after the other.

This was life for Korean-born American Chong Kim who, at 19 years old, was sold as a domestic sex slave in 1994 to Russian gangsters and held captive for more than two years.

“The clients never came to the warehouse,” she recalled “That was just where we slept. There was nothing there but bed mats on the floor and we would just lay there.

“They would give us colouring books with fat crayons and we would colour. But then we would hear the knock outside the storage unit doors and have to all line up.

“If you were chosen, we would get in the truck and there would be a gallon of water between us. You could tell it was hot outside because it was made out of metal aluminium and it was too hot to touch.

“We were sweating when we got to the room and we’d get a make up bag and toiletries and they’d say ‘you have ten minutes to take a shower’. They would have lingerie laying on the bed.

“I remember sitting in the shower because it felt so good to be in water that I just cried. When I was done I had to basically lay in bed naked waiting for the customer to come in.”

About half of her clients were American and others were Russian but some had accents she wasn’t familiar with – they could have been British, Australian or European, she couldn’t tell.

“They all had one hour to spend time with us but most of the time they didn’t spend the whole hour, they just came in, raped us and then they would leave. And then we had to shower for the next client. That was pretty much our day.”

The traffickers would take up to 15 girls to ‘service’ hundreds of men in one day.

“One time, I could hear the screaming on the other side of the hotel room and I could tell another girl was being raped and she was screaming and it was really, really hard for me to concentrate.

“And when we got done throughout the day we would get so sore that I remember asking for a bag of ice and had to put it between my legs because it hurt so much.”

Sometimes the girls were returned to the warehouse, sometimes they didn’t. Any attempts at fighting back or escaping were met with brutal beatings and torture.

“I tried to escape numerous times,” says Chong, now 38. “I remember one time the warehouse truck stopped somewhere and we had to get out to get changed and use the bathroom and that’s when I started running.

“We were in the middle of the desert and I didn’t know where I was. The next thing I knew, I had what I think was a crowbar hit me in the back of the head. When I woke up, I was tortured. I was on a meat hook and beaten like a piñata. Other times they would bust both my knee caps or they would put me in a tub of ice naked.”

As time went on, she would witness as much cruelty as she was subjected to and she would regularly be transported with up to 50 other girls from warehouse to warehouse, state to state.

The girls were all ages and ethnicities, some having being trafficked through Europe or Russia before ending up in the USA.

“I witnessed murders, tortures, sodomy, rape,” she says quietly. “The youngest girl I saw there was just seven years old. They tied me down and made me watch her get raped by 12 adult men. It made me so sick to my stomach. I still see her face in my dreams.”

Forcefully injected with heroin, meth and cocaine and held in a dark, windowless warehouse, time ceased to exist.

“I never knew what time it was because we never had a window to look out. There were times when it would feel like forever,” she said.

“I turned into a puppet, I got tired of fighting back. There were moments where I asked for help and nobody helped me. The traffickers would say, ‘see you are nothing, that is why nobody is helping you’.

“We had no military guys or swat teams to come in and break down the doors and rescue us, that was a dream.”

Her only option was to gain the trust of her traffickers and rise up the ranks to find a way to escape.


Jamie Chung in the movie ‘Eden’

“I felt that I would never get out and the other part of me was getting angry,” she says. “I kept looking at my situation, all the times I tried to escape I was unsuccessful. And so I wanted to know where were these people coming from, where were the parents? Why wasn’t anyone looking for them? And so the only way I thought at that time was to act like I was going to be a part of them so I could find out all of their secrets.

“I approached the head trafficker and I said ‘I could be the Madam, I am a woman, I can use my feminine charms and to manipulate and to get more girls. And I can help you make more money’.”

After gaining their trust, she soon found herself in the terrible position of recruiting young girls into sex slavery, just two years after the very same thing happened to her.

She was recruited into sex slavery in 1994 by the person she believed to be her boyfriend.

While studying Law at a technical college in Dallas, Chong met a man claiming to be a soldier in a bar who she knew as Keith, only later discovering that was not his real name.

She described him as chivalrous, adding: “He would say to me ‘you should smile more often you know’, he was very, very sleek. That’s what makes him poisonous.”

Estranged from her family, Chong was vulnerable and looking for her ‘Prince Charming’ and he manipulated this to recruit her, she says.

“It’s like a hunting game, they know how to hunt, they look for them, they watch, they observe. They’ll do a round of tests,: says Chong. “A man will go to the bar and he will say ‘who wants to get me a drink?’ and the first woman who says ‘I will’ without knowing him gives him the signal that she will do anything for him.”

After just two months of dating, he drove her to an abandoned house in Oklahoma telling her that he needed to help a homeless friend.

“I said I’d wait in the car and that’s when he grabbed me by the neck and said ‘you’re going to do as I say’. And my first thought was ‘what did I do wrong?’”

He chained her up in the basement and burned her passport and documents. There, she was raped and tortured before she was transported to the warehouse somewhere in an Indian reservation in Nevada.

“When I was taken to the storage unit and I saw the other girls, I was just shocked.” She says. “It was like a giant factory of children. And I literally thought I was in a different country because I was so Americanised that I thought it can’t be here.”

But when she became a Madam she learned about the scale of the operation and the so-called respectable people who were her customers.

“I learned about the corruption – there were politicians, judges, police officers that would buy a girl and pay the agency to keep quiet,” she says. “It scared me so much that I decided I need to run away.”

Her opportunity to escape came in 1997 when she was staying in a wealthy client’s hotel in a casino in Vegas.

“I remembered watching a James Bond movie with my father and he’d crawled out through the vent to escape,” she says. “I remember the vent being big enough and I thought ‘you know, it’s worth a try!’”

Making her way outside the building, a man pulled up in his car and spotted her escaping still wearing her lingerie.

“My heart was beating so fast,” she says, “I got in the car and took off my Stiletto shoes and beat him over the head. He was unconscious, I didn’t kill him. And I moved his body out and I stole his vehicle.”

For many years after her escape, she “lived like a hobo” fearful that her kidnappers would trace her if she used her social security number. After seeking help from a women’s shelter and with intense therapy, she slowly started to rebuild her life.


Chong Kim today (l) with actress Jamie Chung (r) who plays Eden in the movie.

Her incredible story is now the subject of an independent film to be released this Friday (July 19) in selected UK cinemas, starring Hollywood star Jamie Chung.

And today, mum-of-one Chong shares her story to educate law enforcement personnel and attorneys all over the USA.

Her advocacy work for victims has been commended by campaigners including Academy Award winning actress Emma Thompson.

But despite helping scores of victims, Chong feels emotionally conflicted about her time as a Madam working for the very people that abused, raped and tortured her.

“I worry about being judged,” she says. “Even when I was a Madam I was still being held as a slave. I never kept any money, I was being monitored all the time.

“There’s not a moment I don’t think about the girls, their faces, their tears I only hope that they were able to be rescued or escaped.”

Chong is working with private investigators and members of the FBI to give as much information as possible to help bring her traffickers to justice.

But the organised criminals, who were also involved in drugs, arms and money laundering, were clever enough to use false names and move the girls from site to site to avoid being traced.

But by telling her story, Chong is speaking up for all survivors of sex trafficking, she says.

“I have people who say ‘I’m sorry this happened to you’ and I say don’t tell me you’re sorry, tell me that you’re angry and you want to do something.

“There are so many of these men who come to different countries whether it is in the UK, South East Asia or America and their intention is for paid rape. And the woman’s voices will always remain silent as long as the law enables these predators. So we need to find a way to say ‘No more.’”

* ‘Eden’ is in selected cinemas including the Brixton Ritzy and Empire Leicester Square from July 19. It is also available for download on iTunes. For more information, go to


Written by investik8

July 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

586 Responses

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  1. […] I saw such a terrible article the other day that I need to write this blog post about this. This is the link to the article: […]

    CI#3 | The Living Art

    March 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Thoughts on Things and commented:
    “We had no military guys or swat teams to come in and break down the doors and rescue us, that was a dream.”

    I would really like to get involved with this after my military career.


    March 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    • There is an organisation called “Destiny Rescue” that you might like to investigate. They operate primarily through Asia.

      Down the Rabbit Hole

      March 7, 2014 at 1:03 am

    • “I learned about the corruption – there were politicians, judges, police officers” Who paid and control military guys and swat teams? Oh, it’s corruption goverment, basic police and military are like big gang to controled by wicked, on this world military and police control by wicked, not righteous, there are too few righteous control over it, if there ever one.


      March 7, 2014 at 1:41 am

  3. […] Wearing just their underwear, the girls line up with their backs to the wall, arms by their side, heads down, frozen to the spot. They dare not move. Their captors walk up and down the line – picki…  […]

  4. Sickening – for the Russian Mafia -‘all Immigrant prosecuted for such crimes should be punished then deported

    Mr Bond

    March 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm

  5. I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I would like to comment on the debate arournd the merits of legalised prostitution. We have legalised brothels where working conditions are better and some would say good. Though there is still little support for women who contract a work based STD (at least insome establishments – where employees are employed on a casual basis – most are just stood down with no pay until they get medially cleared for work – no “workcover” payments to support them like other workers in Victoria are entitled to for injury and lillness caused by work. In my experience these women generally feel too disempowered to fight the employer.
    We also have illegal street sex worders who are very vulnerable and who experience many assualts – sexual and otherwise. These women are sometimes murdered by their clients.
    We also hear about sex slaves occassionally, so this market also exists here, but is underground.
    I have worked with many sex workers during my career as an outreach nurse, some legitimate and some illegal (no sex slaves in the sense of this article). I think that legalising prostitution has had many benefits for the women who work in the legal brothels. I am told that condoms are mandatory in these establishments and that affords the women and girls some protection. You must be over 18 to work in the legitimised sex industry in Victoria.
    Legalisation of prostitution does not pevent sex slavery though. I think most people think slavery is in the past, and are unaware of the huge numbers of women who are enslaved across contemporary society. I know from the women I have worked with that many men choose a street sex worker when they seek rougher sex that would not be tolerated in a brothel . I dread to imagine what draws men to a sex slave – but presumably they too have desires that would not be catered for in legal brothels.
    I fell strongly about sex slavery in Australia and around the world. I believe that if men were the main people trafficked, there would be much more action to stamp out this business model.
    On the lead up to International Women’s Day, thanks for this reminder that there is a lot of work to do.

    Narelle Everard

    March 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    • Well written.

      Arisa Yamamoto

      March 9, 2014 at 2:36 am

  6. We work directly with victims of sex trafficking and other sex workers in Seattle every day. Sexual exploitation in every form leads to complex trauma that takes years and even decades to heal from. Please check our our blog at Consider joining our efforts.


    March 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    • I appreciate your efforts Bridget. Keep in mind though, you will have fewer cases of women with psychological or other problems from sex work once sex work is legalized and regulated in Seattle. Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and many other countries have already legalized/regulated sex work using various methods, leading to reductions of sexually transmitted diseases, reductions of rape, abduction for example. It is easier to catch the ‘bad guys’ when there is legalization and legal transparency. Only legalization allows age checks and other common sense regulations that protect the women and men involved in sex work. it is interesting to note that prohibition on sex work in America began at around the same time that the Severance movement lobbied and pushed through prohibitions on alcohol, mj and ‘bawdy houses’/sex work.


      March 7, 2014 at 3:34 am

      • You assume these girls want to be in the sex business… and we are talking many of them are little girls… 7 year olds, 12 year olds… CHILDREN…. and those old enough…I feel most of them that are forced sex slaves DO NOT choose and would never choose this occupation.

        Need a Savooyr

        March 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      • Pure marketing spam. Sex work is not regulated or ‘legalized’ in Canada, children as young as nine years of age are commonly found on the streets, women are beaten, murdered and dumped. Bad guys are the mob, they aren’t the guy down the street who’s lost his way or some such fiction. Your comments here are b.s.


        March 10, 2014 at 4:29 am

      • Regulate the sex trade? How bout if Men just figure out they should marry a woman if they choose to have sex, not run around and pay for it, or rape women or any of the things depicted in this story. Women are being abducted and you think about legalization will stop the human trafficking? Wake up Sinner=G…I’ll be praying for you,.


        April 23, 2014 at 5:38 am

      • Sinner-G, Much evidence including those countries you’ve listed say otherwise. Those claims are based in a so-called “harm principle” has long been invoked to justify the legalization of narcotics use, prostitution, and other “victimless crimes.” This argument rests on the assumption that individuals willingly take part in such activities and society suffers no direct harm on account of their actions. However, when the sex trade‟s relationship to sex trafficking is considered, prostitution proves to be far from victimless. Most victims do not actually “willingly” participate, or have a lack of agency. Majority have pimps/traffickers and those who don’t have a desperate lack of choices and thus see this as a “last resort” to survive. Also, as many as 50 percent are children (USSD 2005) who are not of legal age to “willingly participate” and yet their trafficking for sex is rampant. These claims are just not based in actual experience with victims, but more of a philosophy. The goal in decriminalizing prostitution, is so that the victims of trafficking do not face more barriers to exiting the life. That is why many have move to decriminalize prostitution, but criminalize the solicitation or purchase of sex. It is so the penalties and repercussions go with the criminals and no longer the victims. As a side note, Europe and the United Kingdom have or are positioning to regulate porn, so that leads me to believe there will continue to be a shift in prostitution as well.


        May 28, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    • So.sad!’:(


      March 7, 2014 at 6:33 am

  7. How ironic that this story takes place in a state where prostitution is legal! None of this endless supply of misery and brutality could exist without an equally steady demand. What kind of men are so desperate, depraved and cowardly, that this is the only way they can have sex? We need to hit the traffickers as hard as possible but also the clients. It’s one thing to legalize and regulate prostitution with willing participants, quite another to treat vulnerable women as pieces of meat.

    Carlos Sanchez

    March 7, 2014 at 12:48 am

  8. Devastated by what I have just read. Want to see the movie on this nonfiction story! Amazing struggle of survival.


    March 7, 2014 at 5:15 am

    • It’s on Hoopla. Free. And the book is available in book stores and libraries.


      March 10, 2014 at 4:31 am

    • Thanks for sharing – I have often made similar arguments ( without the actual data/stats ) with people who assume conveniently that legalizing prostitution will prevent crimes against women. If anything it is legalizing crimes against women.


      April 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

  9. […] Horrors like this story from the United States […]

  10. […] showcase and reinforce exemplary narratives to generate audiences, such as in last year’s Eden: a sex slave’s story. Keri Lerum […]

  11. As long as there is free access to on line porn, this problem can only mushroom. Something has got to be done at the root level, not just the fruit at the top of the tree.

    Heather Brandon

    March 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    • So very true…pornography supports and helps this flourish.


      March 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

  12. Unless and until the mentality of women being lesser than equal to men changes on a global scale—this will continue. The global attitude that men have a “right” to sexual expression anytime, anywhere, with anything is WRONG on so many levels! There are so many countries with centuries of this mentality being accepted—-the women endure just because it’s what they live everyday—-and are helpless to change anything—-because the men are the ones who make and have made the rules. Publicly denouncing the violence that they themselves participate in. My question is —- why is it ok for a man to be so utterly unable to control his urges?

    Cat Quinn

    March 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

  13. saddest story I have ever seen. President Obama and the rest of congress STOP THIS ABUSE NOW ! I am sure you know where this is where these girls are at. HOW CAN THIS ABUSE STILL GO ON ? For ONCE in your life take action this could be your DAUGHTER ,!!!!!


    March 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

  14. Gary PUckett

    March 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm

  15. If you want to do something about it, go to


    March 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm

  16. It’s happening in our back yards. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to millions of victims around the globe. I am so glad this brave victim was able to tell her tragic story. Makes me angry, sad, and sick to my stomach every time i read or hear about human trafficking. I wish i had to power to end all of it.

    *Models, be Informed! If you need some advise, please check out our article “Advise & Avoiding Scams”.

    Aspire | Live | Inspire

    John Pham

    March 8, 2014 at 4:37 am

  17. Very touching.
    Wish I can do something about this someday.


    March 8, 2014 at 5:19 am

  18. Reblogged this on Asura Atelier.


    March 8, 2014 at 7:52 am

  19. This is so sickening! It’s so hard to believe that humans can be so gruesome and merciless. I think a movie like this will bring the subject to light, but with our leaders just as corrupt, is there a chance of ever eradicating this?


    March 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

  20. Reblogged this on Let's Write, Shall We? and commented:
    In light of this perhaps: ‘Escaping the Beast of Narcissi’ takes on a different light than just another story with typos and tense problems. It came from my heart.


    March 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm

  21. As bad as this is, it was worse throughout history when slavery was legal. Back then they would kidnap you sell you in the open slave market, or put you in a brothel and sell you openly. It was all open and worldwide. You can thank CHRISTIANITY for outlawing slavery worldwide and making this harder to do.


    March 9, 2014 at 2:17 am

    • Thank you for your input. This type of brutal evil is
      not new. Thank God for Jesus and God fearing people because some of the people (sad to say) that hung and
      raped our people went to church on Sunday (without) their sheets (The KKK).


      May 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

  22. What kindergarten age child says ” when I grow up,I want to be a prostitute?” What is the message we send with legalizing prostitution? “You have no value and bring on the pimps”. It’s time to wake up and set the captives free.


    March 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

  23. […] ini diangkat dari kisah nyata wanita bernama Chong Kim , dia diculik tahun 1994 dan berhasil melarikan diri tahun 1997. Saat ini Chong Kim bekerja untuk […]

  24. It’s really sad to read, and yes there is anger in me towards these retards who treat women like that.
    What are authorities doing, it sometimes make me feel as if we are still living in Stone Age.

    Bharat Sharrma

    March 10, 2014 at 2:50 am

  25. Reblogged this on Renutva and commented:
    “When I was taken to the storage unit and I saw the other girls, I was just shocked.” She says. “It was like a giant factory of children. And I literally thought I was in a different country because I was so Americanised that I thought it can’t be here.”


    March 10, 2014 at 6:02 am

  26. Reblogged this on harmoniek's Blog.


    March 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

  27. Reblogged this on ikhanised and commented:
    sent chills down my spine…


    March 12, 2014 at 10:33 am

  28. Reblogged this on J U S T I C E.

    Bella Eshq

    March 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

  29. No animal is dangerous as human.


    March 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

  30. I don’t wanna watch this film! I just cant! Aww! My heart is aching! :'(

    Yvan De Ramos

    March 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  31. […] Read the full story here.  […]

  32. We can all do something about this now, not just “someday.” Go to (the International Justice Mission) to see how you can help stop human trafficking and other oppression, including sex slavery. IJM works at this from all angles, including fighting for better laws, working for justice in the courts, setting up sting operations to free captives and bring captors to justice, and providing aftercare so that victims can have safety to begin to heal and start a new life.

    Let’s not allow ourselves to turn away in silence. We can make a difference for those suffering from these terrible wrongs. Please go to to see what you can do.


    March 18, 2014 at 3:20 am

  33. I’m going to Brazil in May to teach hip hop to a handful of young ladies that have gone through this. They now live in a safe house. Lifting their spirits through music and dance. Check out my project!!
    Thanks for the support! LETS MAKE A CHANGE!


    March 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm

  34. If our U.S. govt put half the law enforcement resources it uses against drugs (instead we can legalize, tax, educate and regulate—using tax proceeds to fund rehab centers so drug users themselves help pay for the consequences of drug use) towards the fight against human trafficking we wouldn’t have such a big problem with this here. It is a travesty that slavery still exists in this country.


    March 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

  35. Its not just women that are being sold and abused. A lot of young boys are sold as well. Both sexes are sold to predators and are worked on the streets and in motels or are sold to rich men who would rather buy a sex slave than help the world with their excessive funds. They are treated as property,being degraded, starved, raped,tortured and are kept in poor condition by people who would kill them as easily as batting an eye. These kinds of people,people with no heart,soul or loyalty to mankind, should be found and brought to justice,and shown as much mercy as they have shown the people they had scarred physically,mentally and emotionally.


    March 20, 2014 at 3:25 am

  36. if this were a national priority it would b over in a month through agressive sting operations. but those who control the money are too busy invading other countries. life sentences for the men involved.


    March 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

  37. Made me cry so much


    March 24, 2014 at 5:20 am

  38. Reblogged this on Living By Faith and commented:
    This is just one women’s story…


    March 25, 2014 at 12:36 am

  39. I’ve been around many bad people in my life before I retired, but these are the worst in my estimation. The customers are no better. When I read of the seven year old girl prostitute, I almost threw my phone against the wall! Attention Oklahoma Republican congressmen who I saw on TV talking against Obama care for the poor recently: CLEAN UP SLAVERY IN YOUR OWN STATE! I’m absolutely disgusted by this! Why can’t we take a little time away from the Koch brothers to help enslaved children??


    April 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

  40. All these people should get a slow torturous death do exactly what they did to these innocent girls to them even worse all these kind of people should never have been born they make me sick that I just want to vomit


    April 4, 2014 at 3:53 am

  41. […] in the United States is that this is occurring in our own backyards. In the article titled, Eden: A sex slave’s story, the story of Eden is documented.  Eden was a 19-year old women living in the United States, […]

  42. […] speaker’s story actually reminded me of the article I have came across entitled: Eden. If you read it through, i’m sure it will upset you too. It also really upsets me that even […]

  43. […] read this article, and if it moves you, consider a monthly donation to The Exodus Road, which works at home and […]

  44. I’m shocked x I just wish to convey you shouldn’t feel or pass judgment upon yourself for something clearly out with your control x For one you became there madam as a way of hopeful escape even thought of that mustn’t taken so much from you with fear of being caught etc x Now what you have done since then to bring awareness to others is outstanding x look forward to reviewing your new movie shortly being released x take care always x


    April 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

  45. This should never happen again. Sorry for what you went through


    June 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  46. […] so get down there another day if you can’t make it on Saturday) to an incredibly worthy Anti-Trafficking campaign. Not only that, but each shop within the store is donating a heart or blue product to […]

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