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Real-life stories: Suffering from physical, sexual or mental abuse

Loose Morals And Lesbianism Followed Rape

Sonya Newton was just 16 when she was raped by her boyfriend on their second date on a sailing ship. A wild succession of one night stands and two gay relationships followed in her quest for love and then she became a single parent. But today she has a powerful message of hope and restoration for every broken, hurting woman.


‘When I was raped everything inside of me shut down and I switched off my heart. I did not tell anyone what happened. I felt guilty for a long time and thought it was my fault.’ Her life changed completely. She gave up college, the violin and stopped going to church. But today she says: ‘I am proof that there is no problem too big for God to deal with.’ Sold out for her Saviour, with new husband and stepfather, Richard, for her seven year-old daughter, she is poised to continue to take her story to hundreds of women across the globe. The former mental health worker and Greenpeace advocate turned evangelist, has a heavy schedule of engagements across the UK this year and is now working with a translator to speak in Finland, Romania and South Africa.

After the rape, she sunk to the depths of despair, turning to fruitless relationships to find security and acceptance. ‘I started sleeping with anyone. I worked in a cab office and in a cafe for lorry drivers - it was the perfect environment. I did not know their names or if they were married. It was about being loved and I gave my all to every single man,’ said Sonya.

They never lasted more than one night so a friend suggested that I may be gay. Believing she was, two lesbian partnerships followed. She left one controlling relationship for another with a manic depressant who tried to commit suicide on a regular basis. They made her miserable, lonely and confused. ‘I would pray the Lord‘s Prayer and feel comforted and at ease but I could not figure out why I felt better when I was doing this wrong stuff,’ said Sonya. ‘I reached the point when I could not take any more since basically I had become a carer for the woman I was living with. I was not gay and this was not a right relationship. I knew it was time to leave.’

Then she found romance with a boyfriend who was a steel erector but after six months she was pregnant. ‘I rang him and told him and he asked me to get rid of it. I never saw him again,’ remembers Sonya.

She was seven weeks’ pregnant when she visited a women’s clinic to discover her options. ‘They gave me five or six leaflets about termination. I was living alone in the East End of London with a stressful job and needed to make a decision. It was time for me to decide what I believed was the right thing to do,’ said Sonya.

A chance phone call from home sent her back to her mum’s house near Southend-on-sea in Essex. ‘I felt like a naughty girl of 14 but I was 25,’ said Sonya. But providence was shining on Sonya. ‘I found a flat where I could see and smell the sea and hear the pier train. I supported Manchester United football club and one bedroom was already decorated with its wallpaper. The flat was made for me. It felt cared for. ‘The area had a bad reputation with rowdy night clubbers and vandals who would set fire to cars. But I loved it. My daughter spent the first couple of years on the beach.’ Sonya joined the local church where the congregation was small and elderly and the 96 year old organist had been playing since he was 17.

‘I did not do anything but God was doing stuff as I sat and listened for three years,’ said Sonya whose childhood faith was rekindled. ‘The ladies loved my daughter and helped me to love her more.’ Sonya suffered from severe PMT that continued despite different medications. ‘It was so bad I felt like killing someone.’ As she became increasingly absorbed in Christian television her healing was in sight. One day, as she watched, she took the presenter at his word, and prayed for an end to her illness. ‘I put my hand on my stomach and prayed to be healed and from that split second I knew it was gone. Despite all I had done God was still looking after me,’ said Sonya. It marked an immediate turning and surrender as Sonya said: ‘I am all yours God,’ said Sonya.

The congregation had remained childless for 11 years but Sonya started knocking on doors to reverse the trend. ‘Within two weeks I felt like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. There were so many children my mum had to help me take them to church,’ said Sonya who is now an associate evangelist with Avanti Ministries in Southend-on-sea.

Sonya Newton

Story and picture by courtesy of Challenge Newsline

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