Ending The Game (ETG)

About This Program

Target Population: Victims/survivors of commercial sexual exploitation ages 13 and older

For children/adolescents ages: 13 – 25

Program Overview

Ending The Game: A Sex Trafficking Intervention Curriculum (ETG) is a survivor-written curriculum designed to reduce feelings of attachment by sex trafficking victims to a trafficker and/or the lifestyle of commercial sexual exploitation. ETG aims to educate and empower victims of commercial sexual exploitation by providing victims with a structure and framework to assist in uncovering harmful psychological coercion, explore the sequence of commonly used mind control techniques used by traffickers, and empower ETG participants to acquire skills to “End The Game.”

Program Goals

The goals of Ending The Game (ETG) are:

  • Identify and understand experienced victimization
  • Decrease feelings of attachment to a trafficker and/or the lifestyle of commercial sexual exploitation
  • Increase ability to act independently of negative influences and coercion
  • Create or enhance personal identity outside of “the life”
  • Increase hope for a future outside of “the life”

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Ending The Game (ETG).

Essential Components

The essential components of Ending The Game (ETG) include:

  • 10 facilitator-led core lessons
    • In-person or online
    • Available in three lesson plan formats:
      • 2-hour group
      • 1-hour group
      • Flexible 1-on-1
    • Use of live in-person or online instruction combined with a video-based delivery system:
      • ETG Survivor Sisters video:
        • Features 12 diverse survivors talking about relevant experiences.
        • Included in each lesson.
        • Each video is at least 10 minutes long.
      • Detailed lesson plans for each lesson include:
        • Learning objectives
        • Materials needed for facilitator
        • Materials needed for participants
        • Handouts and videos needed for instruction
        • Minimum of one hands-on activity to provide experiential learning in a variety of modalities
        • Relevant BITES list handout which is ETG’s foundational concept explaining tactics of psychological manipulation
      • Lessons, while interconnected, do not build on each other, so attending one session is not a prerequisite for the next. This helps reduce barriers to participant and high likelihood of attrition that is common to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) victims.
    • Organized primarily around Multimodal Social Ecological (MSE) and Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) frameworks, also informed by empirical findings and clinical practice.
      • Focuses on psychoeducation and resiliency in three key areas important for CSE victim recovery:
        • Regulatory Capacity
        • Relational Capacity
        • Sense of Self
      • Focuses on:
        • Recognizing victimization
        • Recognizing manipulation
        • Building healthy relationships
        • Self-love
        • Making positive plans for the future

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Ending The Game (ETG) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Involvement in commercial sexual exploitation, feelings of attachment to a trafficker or the lifestyle of commercial sexual exploitation

Recommended Intensity:

Twice weekly for 5 weeks, 2 hours per class. This is, however flexible to agency’s schedule and victim’s needs.

Recommended Duration:

Approximately 5 weeks, however this is flexible to accommodate agency schedule and/or victim needs.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Daily Living Setting
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)
  • Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)
  • Shelter (Domestic Violence, Homeless, etc.)
  • Virtual (Online, Telephone, Video, Zoom, etc.)


Ending The Game (ETG) includes a homework component:

Each of the 10 lessons has at least one optional homework assignment. These assignments are future-focused; involve mostly creative expression with minimal writing; and are intended to reinforce hope and self-love. Each week begins with a check-in on previous homework assignments.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Internet connection
  • Laptop or other device with video on it
  • Screen to display video (Monitor, TV, or projector)
  • Comfortable environment for everyone to be seated
  • Writing surface and materials for each participant

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

All potential ETG Facilitators must have completed formal Human Trafficking 101 training and/or worked with victims of CSE (commercial sexual exploitation) for at least 3 months. Facilitators must also be working or volunteering at an agency that offers free and available therapy to clients, and that serves victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Program Manual Information:

The 34-page ETG Facilitator Manual is only accessible to people being trained during ETG Facilitator Training.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:
  • Potential participating agencies are screened for qualification prior to receiving training via administration of a short questionnaire.
  • Facilitator trainings are held monthly virtually, or in-person for groups of 6 or more at a trainee’s location if requested.
  • Trained facilitators who have completed the live 7-hour ETG Facilitator Training become certified to facilitate ETG within their organizations, including jails and prisons, residential facilities, foster homes, community centers, homeless or DV shelters, rehab treatment centers, etc.
  • Support for curriculum implementation is available via phone and email to agencies that plan to use ETG in prisons as needed for things such as getting clearances for training materials and technical workarounds. Support is offered to all facilitators via email and periodic check-in calls.
    • Facilitators are encouraged to collect preintervention and postintervention assessments to track program effectiveness.
Number of days/hours:

1 day (7 hours)

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Usacheva, M., Smalley, C., Hafer, N., & Brooks, S. (2022). Ending the Game®: A new psychoeducational curriculum for victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Women & Criminal Justice, 32(3), 257-276. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0011

Type of Study: One-group pretest–posttest study
Number of Participants: 62


  • Age — 13-58 years, Mean=26.6 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 37% African American, 31% Other/Mixed 22% Non-Hispanic/White, and 10% Hispanic
  • Gender — 100% Female
  • Status — Participants were adult and minor victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Location/Institution: West Coast of the United States

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to describe the development and pilot implementation of Ending the Game (ETG), a psychoeducational curriculum for victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) to assess program engagement, curriculum acceptability, and potential for effectiveness. Measures utilized include the Participant Evaluation Questionnaire (PEQ) and the Facilitator Evaluation Questionnaire (FEQ). Results indicate that the rate of attrition was comparable to other group curricula and low rate of non-response, particularly on Likert-scale and dichotomous items. Curriculum acceptability was high in terms of content, facilitators, and group environment. The t-test comparisons showed positive trends in improvement of regulatory capacity, relational capacity, sense of self, and future orientation. Limitations include the small sample size, lack of control group and lack of follow-up.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Ending The Game (ETG).

Contact Information

Rachel Thomas, M.Ed.
Agency/Affiliation: Ending The Game
Website: www.EndingTheGame.com
Phone: (323) 577-5769

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2024

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2022

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2022