Removing Physical Scars | The Patch

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by Tim Darnell, Patch Staff | Jan 8, 2019 1:13 pm ET | Updated Jan 8, 2019 8:41 pm ET

ATLANTA, GA -- Nikky* remembers the exact day and time — and the drugs and alcohol involved — when she got her gang tattoo, a black pitchfork on her ankle that was embedded into her skin with a needle and thread. Then she became a victim of human trafficking.

"I had kept the tattoo hidden for years and then when I was trafficked I had to keep it hidden because they were gang members and if they noticed, I knew I would be in big trouble," Nikky says today. "And when I escaped my trafficker and going through my recovery program, I had to keep it covered up, because this was a well-known gang and had gained a lot of rivals...

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ARI Helps Remove Symbols of Pain | AJC

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“Many people get tattoos for more joyous occasions. They might put the names or images of their children or a lover. Perhaps they have a beloved hobby or favorite saying, a religious symbol or flag.

In some cases, though tattoos can represent a dark period in someone’s life.

Lamb said one ex-gang member had a tattoo across his lips that read “never snitch.”

One woman’s pimp branded her with money bags on her upper thighs and dollar signs running up to her pelvic area. With others, their trafficker’s names are tattooed on their bodies with the words, “for life” or “property of.” Drugs and self-cutting or burning can also leave their scars.”

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