Zuniga Bailey was raped at 22 after getting drugged during a night out with her roommate. She was a virgin at the time and saving herself for marriage.
“It was a very hard traumatic experience. In my story I share how I spent almost three years in just complete silence and did not tell a soul out of fear, out of insecurity and out of a lot of the taboo things that we hear and of shame, honestly, that something like this happened to me,” she continued.
“It really was through my journey of recognizing and coming to grips with the reality that I needed healing, and that I could not survive my day-to-day life keeping this hidden and secret,” the 33-year-old explained. “I believe if we stay secret, and we keep things secret, secrets make us sick, and we’re not designed to be in secret.”
Almost five years after the rape, Zuniga Bailey finally shared what happened to her with someone she really trusted. From there, she started to seek healing in God and through counseling. The Lord would eventually tell her she was “worthy of love,” and as she surrendered to God, He put it on her heart to share her story with others.
“I really started to recognize that if I felt this way after this experience as an adult, I wonder how other women feel who’ve experienced this as children, or who are going through something abusive and don’t know who to turn to, or where to go, who to talk to,” she added.
Now, 11 years after the traumatic incident, the young woman is able to speak openly about her experience.
“I do want to be very clear that it’s such a hard topic, and it’s such a hard thing to overcome. So it takes time, you can’t just tell anyone, and it’s really important to have healing before you publicly share,” she advised.
Something the life coach wants other survivors to know is that they are still worthy and their identity is in God. For years, she felt that she would never get a good man because of what happened to her. However, Zuniga Bailey, who recently got married, has seen firsthand that God restores all things.
“Regardless of going through something this traumatic, you can get on your phone and feel that way just looking at other women and seeing other people that you compare yourself to, we’re very hard on ourselves naturally,” she said.
“So I think when I have women who come to me who have gone through something similar that I’ve gone through, my knee-jerk reaction is to speak truth to them and speak identity over them. The truth is that ultimately, it’s the Gospel, but even if I share the Gospel with that woman, it’s hard to accept it because at that point you don’t feel that you are worthy of the Gospel and God’s forgiveness and grace and redemption