What inspired you to become a Human Trafficking Awareness Advocate?
I became an advocate when I became a mother. It wasn’t because I was a victim, it is easier to walk away from my tragedy and have nothing to do with the cause. Then to stay and fight, but when my child was born, I didn’t want my child to be targeted. So in order for me to teach other parents how to protect their child, I had to be the role model.
Describe your book in three words?
Insightful, courageous and gut-wrenching.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
My purpose is not to write a ‘woes me’ type of memoir, but to learn from my experience of being ensnared into the world of child exploitation that led me into being a victim of human trafficking. There were so many opportunities that I could’ve been rescued or helped way before I was trafficked. If I can give that insight to the readers and have them apply it to their lives. To help them not become a victim, that is what I want them to take away from my story.
What’s one of our proudest moments in your career?
When I was a freelance legal advocate. I was able to utilize my connections and legal knowledge to help victims in their fight against injustice. That means more to me than any red carpet event.
Any upcoming projects coming up that you would like to share with readers?
I’m currently working to launch a scripted drama series about human trafficking, called ‘Every 40 Seconds’. It is a fictional series inspired by my real work with the FBI/Task Force in the past. The details of the series will give insights from a visual perspective of how traffickers prey, hunt and capture their victims. The premises of the plot is about a female trafficking survivor who teaches the FBI how to think like a trafficker in order to capture them.
What would millennials be shocked by if they were transported back to the 80’s?
No smartphones, computers were very basic, where you had to manually boot your computer by yourself and we didn’t have the internet until the mid ‘90’s. Cell phones were a brick size and the charges on the minutes were outrages. Landline phones with rotary dial. Cassette and VHS tapes, 8 tracks and so much more.
If 2020 was a book, what would its title be?
Living with Covid without preparation.
What is something difficult for you, but easy for other people?
Accepting cliche romantic gifts (flowers w/ chocolates and teddy bears), lotions or spa treatments. I can’t stand any of those and most people love those types of gifts.
If you could meet any figure from History who would it be?
I wanted to sit down and meet with Maya Angelou, she is my hero and her books inspired me to be a writer.
What are the top three places you need to see before you die?
Pyeongtaek, South Korea: That is where I was born and I came to the US as an infant. I have yet to visit my homeland since I’ve been a naturalized citizen in the United States. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Jefferson Memorial where my true love passed away, I never got to see his grave and I’d like to go and see it before I pass. Entebbe, Uganda: I want to see my friend Dorah and help her with her nonprofit for clinical treatments for infants born with HIV.
What is a recent accomplishment you’re proud of?
I got my divorce on my own from an abusive husband. I walked away from a toxic marriage of 10 years and still got to keep my business that I built.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
@iamchongkim on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.