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The 700 Club

Shunned After Rape, Rescued by God

John Martin - 700 Club Producer
Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer

“I woke up every morning and worshipped idols that were in my home.”

As a young girl, Sangita just accepted the tenets and practices of Hinduism, and her place as the daughter of a Hindu priest.

Sangita said, “This is who I am, I'm a leader of Hindu worship and this is what I need to do, this is my purpose in life.”

That purpose came with expectations of perfection and purity.  Anything less brought swift consequences from her father.

“He would discipline us physically, and my mom. “It was a really confusing time of like who my dad was to us,” she said.

More confusion and pain would follow, but not from her dad.  When Sangita was thirteen, a friend came over to play, bringing with her an older boy from the neighborhood.  Then, when Sangita went to the bathroom, he followed her in and locked the door behind him.

“I asked him, "What are you doing?" And I don't remember what he said, but he grabbed my pants and took them off. And I was trying to fight back. And I ended up on the floor and he ended up raping me.”

Afterwards, the boy told her something that cut to her core.

Sangita said, “Telling me that I wasn't a virgin anymore and that no one would marry me.
I believed the lies that he told me, and I was afraid to tell my parents.”

The attacks would continue for six months, and with them, mounting guilt and shame.

“How could this happen to me and, how did my life become like this?
I kinda blamed myself.”

Finally, her parents put the pieces together and realized the two had been having sex.  When confronted, Sangita told them what happened.  But when the boy insisted it was consensual – they believed him.

Sangita said, “I felt betrayed. Like a strong betrayal that the people that celebrated my birthday every year are not who they say they are. I felt like I couldn't trust anybody, that it was all a sham.”

Soon after, Sangita’s mother took the children and left her husband and the abuse behind.  But for Sangita, the pain didn’t go away.

“The biggest one was the nightmares and the flashbacks. When it came out it was a really, really traumatic, really bad. And there was no one for me to talk to or go to.”

At 14 she started cutting.

She said, “I was like impure, unworthy and like unholy. I hated myself. I hated what happened to me and I couldn't change it.  I didn't even think God would want me.”

Then a friend introduced her to marijuana that quickly became a daily coping ritual.  Soon after, she ran away from home and found she could exchange sex for drugs and shelter.  Over the next 10 years, she would move in and out of drug houses, never feeling she had any future at all.

“Well, my life is wasted. There's nothing to live for, so I might as well just do drugs.
And if people are going to rape me anyways, I might as well make money off of it.”
The constant drug abuse and episodes of PTSD had Sangita longing for death.

“My mental health was deteriorating to a point where I was in and out of the hospital, in the psychiatric ward,” said Sangita. “So I got to a point where I felt like I was nearing death, and actually like killing myself.”

But something always kept her from taking her life.

“I had a small spark of hope that one day I would be talking to people about sexual abuse and about trauma and addiction. That, there's more to this life than what I'm living in and that I don't have to live this way.  I just felt stuck and I didn't know how to get out.”

Then late one night in September of 2012, Sangita was at her boyfriend’s house watching Youtube videos when a video popped up that caught her attention – a story about a young boy who had died, gone to heaven, and met Jesus.

She said, “I had tears just falling down my face and I was just listening to every single word that was being said. There was Gordon Robertson, and he kind of talked about "If you think God hates you or he's angry at you, I'm here to tell you that he's not, that he loves you so much that he gave his one and only son.”

 “And He reaches down to you where you are, He loves you where you are for who you are. And He loves you so much He won’t leave you there, He wants to change you so that you can be with Him,” said Gordon Robertson.

Sangita said, “I wanted what he said, and he said it was available to me, so I was going to pray that prayer. And so, I prayed with everything I had, with every fiber of my being and with all of my heart.”

Sangita says for the first time in her life she felt no condemnation and no shame – only God’s love and forgiveness.

“And in that moment in that room, I felt like a shift in that room. I felt like the darkness just went behind me and in front of me was light. And  I knew firmly that he was real, that he was the real God and that there was no other God.”

Sangita received help for her drug addiction at a woman’s clinic and started seeing a Christian counselor.  She began reading her Bible and learning more about Jesus.

She said, “He would show me a piece of my past that he wanted to talk to me about and speak truth over.  Things like I was never alone. I was never rejected.”

Through her testimony, Sangita’s mother and other family members have given their lives to Christ.  Today, she is continuing to help others who are lost in addiction and abuse, pointing them towards the one true God.

“Jesus has given me life. He's given me an identity which means that I'm no longer rejected. I'm his beloved child and that he will never leave me or forsake me.”

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