Sonora is a Rebel who heard a presentation about sex trafficking, and even though she had never experienced it, found that the information resonated powerfully with her own experiences. A survivor of assault, Sonora is now boldly taking a stand to speak out about the causes that are important to her. May you be inspired by her powerful message!
Red Light Rebellion is an incredibly important cause to me. I remember the first time they came to my health class to talk. It is such a vivid memory because I had just experienced the worst thing I had ever gone through. I was raped when I was 14 by my best friend and until RLR came to my school, I couldn’t quite grasp what had actually happened to me.
At the time, this organization scared the heck out of me. They gave us warning signs like “pimps” offering expensive gifts, isolating you from friends and family, and making sure to get extremely close to you to gain that certain trust that is so necessary for such a horrible operation. So much of it lined up with my situation, and being so young, once the opportunity came to help create a RLR club I immediately turned away. I did not want anything to do with this subject because that meant facing what I had gone through.
So RLR left and I continued dealing with this in silence. Rumors spread around my school that I was a slut who just didn’t want to admit that I was a freshman who had sex with a junior, that I was ruining his life because he had dropped out of school due to it all getting to be “too bad” for him. Little did anyone know that I was going through a pregnancy scare and had panic attacks even when my closest friends touched me, not to mention that random numbers began texting me “I know exactly what you want and how to give it to you ;)” and I had no clue why or how.
When it spread to my counselor, I lied about what had happened to not only her, but my parents. I was beginning to believe that I had been asking for what he did to me, that he had no clue that he was doing anything wrong.
I got back in touch with him to apologize for putting him through so much and he decided to meet me after school to walk me home like he used to, like he did before the first time. Long story short, he raped me again (much worse than before). I found out a bit later that he had been sending pictures of me to many people at school along with my number, which explained the texts I had been receiving. I was like many girls my age when all of this unfolded. Naïve, insecure and desperate for a boy to notice me; but it finally sunk in that my best friend, someone I had come to love, did not care about me and never had.
At 16 I finally told my parents what had happened. Unfortunately too much time had passed for him get what he deserved. This is one of my biggest regrets and will probably continue to be for a long time. However, I am 18 years old now, have been a part of Red Light Rebellion for two years, and have recently been speaking out about my own story. It has brought me some of the most rewarding experiences, educated me in a number of ways, and makes me feel like I am redeeming myself for letting him go. I went from being disgusted with myself, to understanding what happened, to finally helping a cause that so incredibly deserves to be spoken out about.
Sex trafficking, rape, porn addiction, everything that RLR stands against HAS to become less of a taboo and needs to be spoken about. I refuse to be silent as well as encourage everyone to speak up. I have come to realize how shockingly common these things are and how many of us have actually experienced them. To anyone who has experienced sexual assault of any kind, I want you to know that no matter how many pictures or flirty texts you send, no matter what you or anyone else tells you, no matter how easy it is to take the blame for someone you care about, it has never been your fault. It has never been something you deserved. It has never been okay.
What Can You Do?
What makes Sonora's story so powerful is that she was finally able to face her past, pursue healing, and find purpose in the pain. Check out Know Your Story to learn how to do the same!