40 Stories for 40 Years: Sonya Burkins

by Emily Roberts | May 31, 2018

Sonya Burkins learned about The Family Place after her ex-husband attempted to take her life. Although it was an isolated event, her son was left traumatized. Sonya was apprehensive about counseling, but she knew her son needed to heal so they both began counseling sessions.

Sonya says the conversations she had in counseling opened her eyes and broadened her view of abuse.

“Abuse comes in many forms, shapes and sizes,” Sonya explains. “Many believe that the only form of abuse is physical, but that’s not accurate. In many cases, abuse slowly grows until it explodes. When a seed is planted and watered, it will grow overt time. Many individuals will overlook the planting seasons of things like financial abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse and verbal abuse. The truth is these are considered to be ‘red flags’. Unfortunately, in many cases those are the starting points to physical abuse.”

Now, Sonya has picked up the pieces and moved forward with her life. She has degrees in both business and psychology and serves with The Family Place on the leadership team in the Southern Sector outreach office.  Sonya has coined the name “Starlight” for herself because she uses her experience to shed light on domestic violence and raise awareness on abuse.

“I am more than my story. I am a living testimony that with the help of The Family Place and the Lord, I have beaten the odds,” Sonya says. “It’s important to continue to share and help shed light on the different forms of abuse and help those who think they do not have the ability to remove themselves from an abusive situation believe that they do. They need to know that they can become a Starlight, too!”