Getting a tattoo that you come to regret is one thing, but what if you were forced to be branded and marked as property? This is exactly what happens in human trafficking. Victims are branded with tattoos such as bar codes or the name of their pimp like a stamp of ownership, and for those who have escaped the lifestyle, it is a constant reminder of their past.
Helping Victims of Human Trafficking with Tattoo Removal
At Precision Laser, it is something we see all too often, and a reason why we help victims of human trafficking by removing the branding tattoo they received in the past. Our Toronto location has been helping victims for a number of years, and now we are offering the same services in our London location.
Recently, our very own Mike McLaine, owner of our downtown Toronto Laser Tattoo Removal clinic, was interviewed by La Presse in light of the news that victims of human trafficking in Ontario can now get access to government assistance to remove branding tattoos.
We have been accepting requests from community organizations such as Victim Services for some time, and we help victims erase their tattoos related to prostitution from their past.
We also work with Survivors Ink to provide similar types of service. Additionally, we will remove radiation tattoos for cancer survivors at no charge.
About Branding Tattoos from Human Trafficking
Branding tattoos are a form of ownership and a way for human traffickers to control victims. “It’s a form of marking. That’s how these guys see it. It is a possession. Formerly, it was more visible, for example in the neck. Now, it’s often in a more discreet place like the ribs,” says Wayne Parkins, Peel Regional Police Trafficking Investigator, outside Toronto in the article.
Tattoo Removal Included in Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking
As part of a larger plan to put an end to human trafficking in Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General announced access to new benefits, including tattoo removal.
As part of the plan, Government has:
“Expanded the Victim Quick Response Program by $1.93 million over four years to allow victims of human trafficking to access new benefits such as tattoo removal, replacement of government documents and recovery in a trauma-informed facility.”
You can read more about the Government of Ontario’s plan to end human trafficking here.
Erasing the Tatoo and the Memory
Tattoo removal can help victims erase two things – the actual tattoo and the memories associated with their past.
“It may be in a discreet place, but it is still the memory of horrible things. You take an innocent person and you mark it as your property. There is a psychological impact in having to watch every day for the rest of your life the name of a guy who brutalized you,” Mike said in his interview.
We take pride in helping people erase the memories of their past so they can move on with their life.
Learn more about our laser tattoo removal services.