For many, domestic violence leaves more than just painful memories – it produces indelible scars. While doctors and absurdly expensive lasers can do their best to minimize or hide scars, only so much can be done, leaving the victims with visible, constant reminders of the violence.
That’s why Brazilian tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho started a project two years ago called “A Pele da Flor” (The Skin of the Flower), that provides free tattoos to any woman who’s been a victim of domestic violence. Through transforming the scars, her hope is to turn the violent reminder into empowering and beautiful art.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Carvalho said:
“They contact me from all over the country, as well as from abroad. They come to the studio, share their stories of pain and resilience, and they show me their scars. Embarrassed, they cry, and hug me. Then we design the tattoo and we schedule the session. They become excited, optimistic. It is wonderful to see how their relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos … They now post pictures in dresses, and they look happy, changed. It is transformative.”
While her focus is on victims of domestic violence, she also provides free tattoos to women who’ve undergone mastectomies. Her actions are a brilliant example of someone putting their passion to a purpose.
In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, I want to not only highlight someone who is doing something beautiful to make a difference in the individual lives of domestic abuse survivors, but I also want to provide some information on the appalling statistics.
Although the rates for domestic violence have decreased drastically over the past decade, the issue is still extremely relevant. We can only go so long before hearing about another celebrity caught in a physical confrontation with his wife or girlfriend – it’s almost so common to the point that we tune it out. It’s so common that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every minute, 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner. On a national level, one in every four women will become a victim to domestic violence in her lifetime and on a global level, it’s one in every three women.