After her marriage break down and divorce, Lua borrowed money to buy a small house for her and her young daughter. However, without a stable income she was under constant economic pressure.
So, in 2015, when a man sold her a pipe dream about a high-paid job in the UK and happy life for her family, she took the chance. After all, she’d known the man for a while as he frequented her sidewalk stall and gained her trust over time.
The process was simple enough too- she just had to fill in a form with her certified ID copies and the rest would be taken care of. Besides it was a rare opportunity, not to be shared with others- or at least that’s what she was told.
Lua put everything she had into the trip, hoping for a brighter future. When she arrived in the UK, her priority was to take care of her family. After about a year of work she sent all the money she earned to her family in Vietnam. The money was received by her mother and used to pay for her and her daughter’s expenses. However, the support she received from her employer did not last long. The next year, the brokers who helped her find the job took her to a different house in another city. There she was locked up, monitored, prohibited from going out and forced to grow cannabis without pay. Her every move was tracked by her trafficker every day and if she displeased them they did not hesitate to beat and starve her. This was exacerbated because she only received food once a month.
In 2021, she finally escaped, seeking help from a neighbor. Police intervened, Lua was safe and the drug house was sealed off. But after five years of trafficking she was left with deep physical and mental wounds. The heavy workload caused her health to fail, resulting in a fatty tumour in her right arm.
Being apart from her family for so long, Lua was deprived of precious memories with her daughter. This grieved her and she experienced panic and fear. Seeing her need for support, the Salvation Army referred her to Hagar Viertnam.
Hagar assisted Lua with the transit process from the UK to her homeland. There she joined Hagar’s the Whole Journey Program and was provided with immediate psychological first-aid, including trauma-informed counselling. The support she received helped her overcome darkness and gain confidence, knowing she was not alone in her recovery. She was also given legal support.
Lua knows she still has a way to go but is hopeful for her future, thanks to Hagar.

My return journey and social reintegration is still facing a lot of challenges and I am still worried and don’t know how to deal with the huge debt yet. But I can’t wait any more to meet with my mom and my lovely child. I wasn’t there with my family for many important family events. I will not miss the next milestone of my kid. I am so thankful I have Hagar by my side to help me this time. I trust Hagar as my family member and I feel encouraged and motivated to move on. I am really moved and happy as Hagar always listens and empathises with my story. -Lua

Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.

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By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

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