CBN.com Rebecca McDermont’s parents divorced when she was five years old. When she moved into a new home with her mother’s family, a relative began to abuse Rebecca sexually. No one listened to her cry for help. The abuse continued until Rebecca was 14 years old.
“I didn’t feel good about myself,” Rebecca tells The 700 Club. “I felt ashamed of what I participated in, and I carried that with me. If I wasn’t a good person, I would pick people who were not safe.”
Her next abuser was an 18-year-old boyfriend. Rebecca was pregnant at age 16.
“He was abusive emotionally and physically,” she says. “I guess I wanted that fairy tale dream and family that every little girl dreams of. After he would be abusive, he would come back and there would be a honeymoon period. It was a vicious cycle.”
Although they never married, Rebecca and her boyfriend had a second son. The relationship eventually ended leaving Rebecca to raise two children alone. She struggled to provide for her family.
“A friend said, ‘You don’t have to work two jobs, if you try working in strip club. You don’t have to strip. You can just waitress.’
“When I first started working in the dance clubs, it was very traumatizing. I have never seen anything or experienced being in a dark place like that before.”
Rebecca turned to drugs and alcohol to numb her emotions. She recalls, “I have been around cocaine, but I had chosen not to do it. But I decided that I was in this environment, it was dark, there were all these men partying, and I didn’t want to be there. So I thought maybe I would try it. Maybe it would make me feel better. Then I started becoming addicted to it and wanted more.”
Before long, she was spending so much on drugs that she turned to stripping to support her habit.
“I ended up stuck there for 5 to 7 years,” she says. “The types of men I would go out with were abusive men. They were also addicted to drugs and alcohol, and I found myself being stalked, abused, and beaten up.”
A friend gave Rebecca a handgun to protect herself.
“So I took the gun, put it underneath the car and within three days I was pulled over by the police and arrested for having a handgun in my car.”
Rebecca was sentenced to two weeks in the county jail.
“That was the worst two weeks of my life. It was miserable. You feel like a caged animal, and I knew I was in there because they didn’t feel like I should be out in society.”
A judge arranged for Rebecca to enter a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
She says, “Every night, we would gather around, hold hands, and we would say the serenity prayer. Eventually, somebody said, ‘Even if you don’t believe, why don’t you try praying again and see what happens.’ I went into my room. I got on my hands and knees and I said, ‘God, if You are real, I really want You to come back into my life. Please forgive me for all of my sins and everything that I have done. I open my life to You, and I want You to take control of it. Please show me that You are real and just guide me and direct me.
“Something happened when I prayed that prayer. I just felt so at peace. I just had the feeling that everything was going to be okay. It was just such a huge relief. It was like a big burden had been lifted off.”
Rebecca never returned to drugs, alcohol, or exotic dancing. After rehab, she attended business school, became a secretary, and eventually a photographer. Three years later, she met her husband.
“God has given me a wonderful husband who is the man I have always dreamed of. He has also given me three more children, a daughter and two sons.”
Now, 15 years later, Rebecca is the founder of White as Snow Ministries, which helps women in the sex industry change their lifestyles.
“Just give God a chance. He will show you, and He will guide you day by day. He’s given me a fresh new start and beginning. If I can have that, anybody can.”