Organization helps trafficking survivors cover tattoos - CBS46 News

Organization helps trafficking survivors cover tattoos

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Atlanta Redemption Ink) (Source: Atlanta Redemption Ink)

A new organization in metro Atlanta is helping survivors of human trafficking cover a painful past. 

Atlanta Redemption Ink works with tattoo artists to cover tattoos and scars on survivors of exploitation, trauma and abuse.

Jessica Lamb founded the organization after realizing there was a need for it in Georgia. She is a survivor of sex trafficking and a former drug addict.

"I've had my branding covered back in December by an organization on the other side of the country and I was looking for people local and there was actually no one here that did this around our state and the southeast," she said. 

By partnering with tattoo artists and relying on donations, the organization can offer the tattoo coverups free of charge to the survivors.

"It was just really a newfound hope. It was just liberating to no longer have something to remind me of it daily," said Lamb, who also has a tattoo covering scars on her body where she used to harm herself.

Trafficking survivor Alexa Taylor is one of the women Lamb is helping. She no longer wanted to look at a tattoo on her thigh she said her former pimp got for her to cover a scar she had from him pushing her out of a car.

"It’s a constant reminder that somebody felt like it was okay that they could push you out a car and give you all these scars on your body, and all they have to do is just pay to cover them up but it doesn’t erase the memory," she said. "It will be a new beginning. I’ll no longer have to look at this tattoo that someone picked out for me.”

She grew up in Alpharetta and found herself in the trafficking world as a teenager after meeting the man who introduced her to the sex industry.

"It was a bad situation. I got sex trafficked, it brought me overseas, I’ve worked in a lot of different states and countries and seen a lot of not good stuff," said Taylor.

She is now 25, married with two children and wrote a book about her experience

Taylor got her tattoo covered at Painted Gypsy Tattoo in Conyers. Owner Kenny Thompson said he didn't think twice about getting involved with this effort when Atlanta Redemption Ink approached him.

"I got seven kids, four of them are girls and I can’t imagine anything like that ever happening to one of my daughters, and how I would feel, and how it would make them feel," he said. "It’s a monster that’s hidden and not a lot of people know about this, so the more we can do to get it out there, the better.”

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.