Human trafficking survivor tells her story - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Human trafficking survivor tells her story

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Rebekah Begay, a local human trafficking survivor, is bravely stepping into the spotlight to tell her story and save others from the same fate. Rebekah Begay, a local human trafficking survivor, is bravely stepping into the spotlight to tell her story and save others from the same fate.

Some of us, if not many of us, have heard about the problem of human trafficking. 

KULR-8 aired an award-winning documentary on the issue, but even now, do we know what it looks like or even how we can stop it? 

Ahead of an event this weekend in Billings to shed light on the issue, we focus on the problem through the experiences of a brave woman, Rebekah Begay, who is stepping forward to tell her story and help others who are caught in its trap.

"I have been going to school for 2 years. I'm a Mom, a wife, a human trafficking survivor," said Rebekah Begay. "What makes me laugh and have fun? Trips. Seeing my kids just enjoy life."

But life hasn't always been a laughing matter for Rebekah Begay. Her sadness and eventual entry into human trafficking started in Laurel when she was very young. At the age of 13, Rebekah ran from her problems into the streets. She said she sold herself for her drug fixes.


"Drugs become a part of my life, huge. I lived here on the streets of Billings from about the age of 13 to 141/2, 15," she said.

Rebekah's sister was living in Atlanta, Georgia and came to her rescue, or at least she thought. She moved there to live with her sister and family for about four months, until things got even worse. Rebekah said she survived being beaten by a man she trusted. She moved away and started cleaning up her act. But eventually, she started partying with the wrong people and bounced right back to her sister's house.

Then a man she calls Beau came along.


"He wined and dined me, he taught me things I never knew. In particular, he taught me how to dance. He taught me how to be proper and how to not use my language in certain ways," Rebekah


But Beau was after something else.

"Beau told me I could do it willingly or not," Bengay said, "he took me into the kitchen and we started talking and he was like: 'I have people here and you're going to sleep with them.'"

 
He threatened to kill her family if she didn't.

"I'm not going to cry," Begay said as she continues sharing her emotional story. 

---- PART TWO ----

Rebekah Begay, one local human trafficking survivor, is bravely stepping into the spotlight to tell her story and save others from the same fate.

We continue Rebekah Begay's story just as a man she calls Beau, a man she describes as her everything at the young age of 15, started turning on her and selling her for sex.


"My body was mangled and dangled that night. When I was done, and over with, and they were done with me, Beau laid next to me and did what he wanted and told me he loved me," said Rebekah.


That was the first time Rebekah Begay says she was sold in Atlanta, Georgia, to several men for sex. But it wasn't the last.


Rebekah says ecstasy and cocaine were her go-to drugs, a way to survive the horrific experience over and over again.


She said, "It made it feel fun. You didn't have to think about it. So if somebody had a fetish of cutting or burning you or doing any of those, you just let it happen, you just never move."


And that's not all Rebekah says she was forced to do.


"There was lots of girls he wanted me to recruit so I became their lure. So there was a week I lured in probably 60 girls between 12 to 16," she added.


Rebekah says her drug use eventually ravaged her body and she was no longer commanding top dollar so she was sold. But one night, she says she started hearing a voice, one she believes was a message from a higher power.


"I looked in the mirror and I just knew, you're either going to die having sex or die with a bullet in the back of your head. You need to pick one. And I picked the bullet," Rebekah said.


When the opportunity presented itself, she ran as quickly and as fast as she could.


"I turned down an alley. I jumped into a garbage can and whittled myself all the way down to the pit of the garbage can. And in Atlanta, Georgia, there are lots of rats," she added.


But that wasn't the end of Rebekah's struggle with being forced into human trafficking.


 

--------- PART THREE -----------

A walk for freedom in Billings this month is to bring attention to the problem of human trafficking. It is happening largely because of one local woman.


Rebekah Begay, a human trafficking survivor, finishes the short version of her story and tells us her plans for the future.


"They raped me, they beat me, they cut me, they left me for dead. And that one thing inside me said get up," recalled Rebekah.


That is the voice she says she started hearing as a young girl of 15, when she was repeatedly being sold to men for sex. She says two other things emerged as her saving grace from abuse, teenage homelessness, human trafficking and drug use to dull the pain.


"He's an amazing man. I love my Step Dad. He's been a huge part of my life since the moment I was arrested. He came and rescued me. Job Corps is where I went," said Rebekah.


But it took a few tries within Job Corps before Rebekah started to heal. 


"I had a setback at Job Corps that happened. I went to a party, woke up and a guy was raping me so I took the wrath out on him. I took his eyeball and squished it and pulled it out," she painfully remembered.


One day, Rebekah met her man in shining armor through Job Corps. He was a student too.


"I met a man and that would be my husband. He became the light of my world. I always call him my knight in shining armor because he literally warded off everything," she said. 


Rebekah told him everything and he still didn't run. Their journey hasn't been an easy one, then or now.


"I didn't start healing until five years ago. It was when I was 26 and I met my husband when I was 16, 17," Rebekah added. 

She is trying to help others heal through an organization she is starting in Yellowstone County called Awakening Hope.

She said, "I want to bring the victim out of human trafficking, take them and teach them the ropes of how to live in this world, get them in the nutrition area, help them in finding them a home and teach them how to live."


Rebekah has a special message to pass along too.


"There is a way to get out and there is hope behind your story. And even if they are or you are a survivor that is having a hard time, tell your story," she urged.

You are invited to join Rebekah's fight.
At 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 15, at South Park, a worldwide organization called A21 is holding a walk for freedom to help the victims of human trafficking.
Rebekah is one of the reasons this walk is happening in the Magic City.
You will find registration information on the KULR-8 Connections page.

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