Tien was forced into violent and abusive marriages.

Her cousin had a friend who offered them a job and would arrange for them to go into the city. It was clearly a good deal. After all, she had nothing to offer, so she accepted and packed her personal belongings. The car came and Tien hopped in, bursting with hope for a bright future.

Hours passed and they rode on. She wondered how far the place was and asked the driver from time to time if they had reached. “Not yet,” they would say and she sat looking out of the window, not knowing where she was. Overwhelmed by excitement and fatigue, Tien dozed off and fell into a sweet slumber in anticipation of what lay ahead.

She awoke and was stunned to see that she was in a place with foreign words that she could not recognise. A jolt of fear shot through her body and she suddenly realised she was in China! She had just jumped out of the frying pan into the boiling oil. What had she gotten herself in to? The sweet dream quickly turned into a nightmare.


Over the next two years, she was forced to be the wife of three different Chinese men. They were violent and brutally beat her. Each time she tried to escape, she would suffer even more when she was caught. Depressed with no way of escape, she contemplated ending her life because she could see no good future for herself. She was overwhelmed with a deep sense of futility and her dreams had all shattered.

When she finally managed to escape and find her way back home, things were not as she had hoped. Neighbours looked at her strangely, wondering where she had gone and what she had done. Tien faced discrimination from her community and this was a huge stab at her self-worth which had but all been taken by the men through their brutality. Tien lost all her confidence but HAGAR did not give up on her and continued to inspire her to pursue her ambitions and dreams. She felt protected and cared for. This support gave her the strength to rise over her fears. HAGAR provides critical recovery support for victims who have suffered the trauma of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, forced labour or extreme violence. Working from 10 countries, HAGAR provides protection, personal transformation, community reintegration, and economic empowerment for thousands of victims across the world, walking the whole journey of recovery together with them.

Determined to make her dream a reality, Tien went back to school and completed her studies with good grades. She hopes to become a social worker and takes on extra classes and activities so that she can achieve this dream. Hagar continues to work closely with Tien and her family, providing emotional support and seeing her through her education.

Our Empower Campaign helps women like Tien in their journey of recovery. For just $50 a month, you can provide them with the necessary skills and support to start a whole new life.

HAGAR pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each client. Names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.

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