Removing Ink, Restoring Humanity
United Way Fresno and Madera Counties helping human trafficking survivors
Fresno, CA, February 8, 2016 – United Way Fresno and Madera Counties (UWFM) has joined the fight against Human Sex Trafficking in the Valley by announcing their newest project, Traffick Stop.
Many victims of sex trafficking are tattooed or branded with the name of their traffickers (pimps) or a symbol similar to a logo that shows ownership just like cattle. When a survivor of sex trafficking breaks free of their captors, they have a permanent daily reminder of the past by the tattoos that are usually on the arm, neck or chest.
United Way Fresno and Madera Counties has teamed up with Beautoligie Med Spa in Fresno on Traffick Stop, a laser tattoo removal project that helps survivors of sex trafficking permanently remove the marks of modern day slavery.
“Once these women break free and try to repair their lives, these tattoos are often a visible barrier to employment opportunities and a constant reminder of the suffering they endured,” said Lindsay Callahan, CEO of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties. “We are not experts on trafficking but we are experts on connecting people in need with caring businesses and people in our community, we are so thankful to be partnered with Beautologie on this important project.”
The process is not quick or painless and can take up to a year to finally have all the ink removed.
“This momentary pain is nothing compared to the future that I have ahead of me that I never in my wildest dreams thought I had,” said Arien Pauls, Traffick Stop’s client.
UWFM is part of Central Valley Against Human Trafficking and partners with Fresno EOC Sanctuary, Central Valley Freedom Coalition and many other organizations working to end Human Trafficking. People interested in being a part of this program are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or visit www.uwfm.org.
The mission of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties is to improve the quality of life in our communities. By focusing on the areas of income, education and health, they work towards making permanent and lasting change rather than just giving out charity.
Beautologie staff who help us with this project