Rescue is only the beginning.

Sexual exploitation is more than a physical crime. The injuries inflicted on the hearts and minds of abuse victims are some of the most devastating imaginable. Without addressing these injuries, victims, particularly children, can face debilitating emotional distress and mental anguish for years after the physical abuse has ended.

That’s why we use the EMPOWER trauma resilience program for every survivor enrolled in a Freedom Plan™.

EMPOWER is a trauma resilience training program developed by world-renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Robi Sonderegger. Through both individual and group sessions, storytelling and even games, this comprehensive system helps survivors process what they’ve been through and begin to heal.

EMPOWER is an essential part of recovery for traumatised children

Today, we’d like to share a few quotes from survivors about how they’ve been helped by EMPOWER.


EMPOWER is changing people.”

  • Declan, Destiny Rescue EMPOWER Facilitator in Uganda


Declan, a lead Destiny Rescue EMPOWER facilitator in Uganda, is convinced of EMPOWER’s effectiveness. Time and again, he’s seen brokenhearted, betrayed, suffering children learn to live again.

One of the most evident symptoms of extreme trauma is a crippling loss of self-worth. After being treated like a product or a toy for so long, these shattered children often start to believe the lies of their traffickers.

EMPOWER is helping to change that. Survivors discover that they are so much more than a commodity; in the eyes of God, they are priceless members of His family.

It helped me discover my value.” 

  • Disha, a 17-year-old survivor from Asia

The EMPOWER program inspired me and encouraged me to become a better person. I feel like I discovered my worth.” 

  • Hira, a 17-year-old survivor from Asia


They are able to manoeuvre through hard situations.”

  • Declan, Destiny Rescue EMPOWER Facilitator in Uganda


Healing from trauma is tough. 

The mental anguish can resurface again and again, causing distressing flashbacks that interrupt normal activities. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among trafficking victims, the results of which can lead to physical as well as psychological distress. 

But to heal, survivors must learn to face that pain. EMPOWER gently teaches children the twin pitfalls of focusing on their trauma and ignoring it, both of which can lead to long-term negative effects. Instead, children are taught to navigate through the pain, facing it in a way that allows them to move past it into something better.

ugandan girls meet for empower group

Survivors in Uganda during an EMPOWER group session

I won’t focus on what I’m passing through right now. I have to go and get a better future.”

  • Lutalo, a 17-year-old survivor from Uganda

I learned that I have the power to change the situation around me.” 

  • Disha, a 17-year-old survivor from Asia

(We must) be brave men so that (we) can manoeuvre in this world.” 

  • Lutalo, a 17-year-old survivor from Uganda

As children learn their worth, heal from trauma and manoeuvre through a complex emotional landscape, something incredible happens: they start to change.

We have people who came here crying, and now they are laughing.”
  • Declan, Destiny Rescue EMPOWER Facilitator in Uganda


They told me about the Bible, and they told me about Jesus Christ.” Survivor in Uganda

I used to always be timid. I didn’t like talking much to people. Now, however, I can manage to have conversations with people and be more vocal.”

  • Deepti, a 17-year-old survivor from South Asia

“I have definitely grown more confident. Although I am still a little shy, I am not afraid of people. I also feel I have put on an invisible hat of skills that I can carry and showcase whenever I get the opportunity to.” 

They are beginning to think positively…”

  • Declan, Destiny Rescue EMPOWER Facilitator in Uganda

Another tragic effect of trauma is losing the ability to hope. 

Many kids have seen their dreams utterly crushed. Day after day, they were bombarded by a constant barrage of disappointment, degradation and pain. Victims became accustomed to living without anything to look forward to.

We rescue hopeless people. They don’t see their future,” Declan said.

EMPOWER helps change that.

traditional dancing in Uganda

Survivors dance and celebrate after graduating from Destiny Rescue programming in Uganda

As kids recover and gain confidence, they learn to look past simply surviving to the next day or even the next meal. Gradually, they begin to foster dreams for the future.

Attending the EMPOWER program left me surprised. It opened my eyes to see a new world with new opportunities.”

  • Damini, a 15-year-old survivor from South Asia

To think I can get a job in the future through training that I did on my own with the help of my trainers is exciting.” 

  • Hira, a 17-year-old survivor from South Asia
girls rolling out dough
Survivors in Uganda practice catering skills during vocational training


But what’s most encouraging is seeing how these dear kids, who have suffered so much, aspire to help others who’ve suffered exploitation.

With effort and perseverance, I can live a dignified life and encourage others to do the same.”

  • Disha, a 17-year-old survivor from South Asia

I learnt that I have a chance to live with dignity and respect. I want to spread this message to my fellow sisters who live at risk. I just wish that girls everywhere get a chance to live the way they were meant to—in dignity and freedom.”

  • Deepti, a 17-year-old survivor from South Asia

I want to make a change in my village and be an inspiration to other girls. I know we have a voice. I want to make this voice heard.”

  • Damini, a 15-year-old survivor from South Asia

Before rescue, these children suffered in silence, their voices muted by their abusers. Now, they are free and rediscovering who they always were inside. Thanks to their loving mentors and the incredible EMPOWER trauma resilience training program, they’ve regained their voices and have a chance to make them heard. 

Childhood. Dignity. The chance to dream. Rescue made all of this possible. Hundreds of thousands more voiceless children are out there, suffering daily. Will you be a part of their rescue stories? Click below to rescue a child today.

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Thank you fighting for freedom. You’re now a part of a worldwide team that is helping to rescue and restore the sexually exploited. You’ll receive regular updates on the impact that your generosity is enabling and the lives changed because of you.

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Give her back her childhood.

Your donation can move her from surviving to thriving.