Rape survivor shares how God helped rebuild self-worth, identity following trauma  

Monica Zuniga Bailey appears in an I Am Second promotion photo.
Monica Zuniga Bailey appears in an I Am Second promotion photo. | YouTube/I Am Second

Monica Zuniga Bailey shared her testimony of how she found hope after being raped in a new "I Am Second" film, and the Christian survivor wants other victims of trauma to know that God is willing and able to help them find healing and wholeness too. 

One in four women are victims of some sort of sexual abuse, and many are victims of rape, according to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Many assailants get away with the offense, leaving the victims with an even greater sense of trauma.

Zuniga Bailey, the founder of We Are Unveiled Ministries, was able to find healing on the other side of rape and wants to help others do so as well. Her ministry seeks to create a "safe place and platform for women all over the world to share their stories and victory in Jesus’ name."

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

"It's something that isn't often spoken about because it's a very intimate kind of abuse that happens, so it tends to stay very private and hidden,” Zuniga Bailey told The Christian Post. 

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 through ‘I Am Second,’ 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.” 

Zuniga Bailey stressed that people must realize the difference between actively sinning and someone else who sinned against their body. 

"For example, I can go out and make an active choice, knowing it's a sin, to have premarital sex," she said. "I make that choice and I actively participate in that and I can feel that guilt and shame. That's an emotion and feeling of, 'Wow, I know the truth. I know, I'm not supposed to do this, and I did it and I feel guilty.' There's a difference between me being an active participant and someone sinning against me and my body, and me not actively participating and wanting that. It is still sin but it is not a sin that I'm willingly partaking in."

"God did not desire that for you by any means, but sin is the brokenness of our world that's entered in through the fall of man, and this is the result of that brokenness, unfortunately," she continued.

"I remind them that their identity is good, they're worthy of love, they're worthy of everything God has promised them. But also to really look at what happened at face value. because it's hard to not look at what happened and not see that you messed up, and it's important to look at it and say, ‘This was done against me, this was not my fault.’

"Once they start there, then they're able to accept God's forgiveness and grace and mercy and begin to reshape that thinking of who they are in Christ.”

Zuniga Bailey said it is normal for survivors to question why God would allow such horrible things. It was a question that she, too, wrestled with, because the horrific incident happened to her when she was already a Christian. 

"I was trying my hardest to be a good Christian and I was going through hard things at the time that I lost my virginity through rape, and I really felt like God abandoned me, and I was hurt; I was angry, and I didn't understand why He would do that,” she said.

“If I could go back and hear something at that time, the thing I would need to hear and have clung to is that God does not desire for that to happen to me, like not just that sin of rape, but other things that were happening in my life. That He didn't look at my life and say, 'I'm displeased with you, I'm going to cause all this to happen.’”

The ministry leader said she would ultimately find comfort in recognizing that when God created the earth, His initial design was never for His creation to be broken the way that it is. 

“Brokenness and sin entered into the world and it’s why bad things happen,” she surmised. “It's a constant reminder of our brokenness in the world, and our need for Him, and our dependence on the presence of God to get us through the day.”

"I spent time running away from God. And I can say, I would much rather run to Him and be close to Him, even in the pain of what I don't understand, than to be separate from Him,”  Zuniga Bailey testified.

The speaker concluded by saying that reading Scripture and being discipled by pastors has helped her greatly.

She was encouraged by “being told that I'm a powerful person, and I have power over this, and this is not the end of my story, that I can choose to take what happened and use it. “

Zuniga Bailey’s full “I Am Second” episode can be viewed below.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles