Season 2, Episode 1 – Sioni Rodriguez
(Please be aware that this story is not suitable for children due to graphic descriptions of physical abuse.)
Born to an Indian mother and a Costa Rican father, Sioni grew up in Costa Rica where she was sold by her own mother thrice. The first time she was only nine years old.
Sioni endured unspeakable physical abuse by her father who was a violent alcoholic. Her mother, who also treated her cruelly, got her married (or sold her) to an American man when she was only 16 years old.
Three years later, when she left Costa Rica for America, Sioni assumed she was leaving behind a life of abuse and pain. However, Sioni’s husband too, physically assaulted not only her but also her son, which made Sioni leave him and survive on her own in a foreign country with two young children.
Today, Sioni is married to Richard, a loving and God-fearing man. They have two wonderful children and four grandchildren. The most remarkable part of the story is how Sioni extended grace and forgiveness to her perpetrators, especially her mother, even taking care of her when she fell ill.
An advocate for victims of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence, Sioni is associated with ministries such as Project Rescue Ministry and A Time Beyond Survival International Ministry. As a speaker, she raises awareness about human trafficking and human rights violations at churches, high schools, and conferences both in the US and abroad.
Sioni is also an active coordinator in the Angel Tree program, a program that ministers to the children and families of the incarcerated. She became a Chaplain through UNIPAS in 2012. She and her husband serve as leaders of the prison ministry at their church, the Pleasant Valley Assembly of God, serving primarily at the Northampton Correctional Facility. She also leads the women’s ministry at her church.
Sioni holds an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Academic Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Christian Counseling as well as a certificate, from AACC, in Mental Health Coaching and Behavioral Health Disorders.