Fresh ink, fresh start: Nonprofit helps people cover up past mistakes with new tattoos | 25 CBS

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Fresh ink, fresh start: Nonprofit helps people cover up past mistakes with new tattoos

Sometimes physical pain is well worth the emotional relief.

For a sex trafficking survivor, who did not want to be identified, getting the tattoo on the back her leg that says “Daddy’s Girl” covered up, the impact goes much further than skin deep. It helps erase the pain from her past.

“It feels really good, but it hurts really bad,” she said.

Tattoo cover-up sessions like these are organized and paid for by Atlanta Redemption Ink, a nonprofit started by Jessica Lamb.

“We work with sex trafficking survivors, former gang members, former self harmers and individuals that are in recovery that have marks from addiction,” Lamb said.

Since 2017, Atlanta Redemption Ink has helped hundreds of people cover up marks from their past.

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Erasing symbols of hate: Atlanta Redemption Ink helps people get racist tattoos covered | 11 Alive News

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Erasing symbols of hate: Atlanta Redemption Ink helps people get racist tattoos covered

ATLANTA — A local non-profit known in the community for helping sex-trafficking survivors cover up scars of the past is also doing its part to erase the hate associated with racist tattoos.

Atlanta Redemption Ink is working with local tattoo artists to cover-up hateful tattoos for free.

“It’s a transformation from the inside out,” said Jessica Lamb, Founder of Atlanta Redemption Ink.

“When someone comes to us with a tattoo rooted in racism and says ‘I was wrong, I'm not that person anymore and I want to reflect that on the outside,’ it's encouraging to see,” she said.

RELATED: After breast cancer took her mother, this tattooist helps survivors heal by covering scars with artwork

Crystal Boyd owns Pür Ink Tattoos & Piercings in Alpharetta. Boyd is one of several local artists working with Atlanta Redemption Ink to do the free cover-ups.

“It was a different time in her life and now she is embarrassed by it,” said Boyd. “It doesn't represent what she thinks or feels.”


Read more at 11 Alive

Flowery Branch tattoo shop helping survivors cover painful past

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Flowery Branch tattoo shop & Atlanta Redemption Ink helping survivors cover painful past

The only thing left aside from emotional scars is something they have to look at every day, a reminder, something they have to explain to their kids, or to their family, or to their church or business,” said Migliore, owner and artist at Mind’s Eye Tattoo on McEver Road in Flowery Branch.

Migliore and his shop have tattooed dozens through a partnership with Atlanta Redemption Ink, a grassroots nonprofit helping those with self-harm scars, track marks from drug abuse and gang tattoos as well as survivors of the sex trade and domestic violence to get free cover-up tattoos or tattoo removals.

Coupled with counseling services, executive director and founder Jessica Lamb called it an “all-around system of care” for those with physical reminders of their painful pasts.



Columbus tattoo parlor teams with non-profit to help survivors of sex trafficking

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Columbus tattoo parlor teams with non-profit to help survivors of sex trafficking| Mya Johnson

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Although it may seem invisible on so many faces, hundreds of people in our own backyard are suffering as victims of human sex trafficking.

January is Human Sex Trafficking Awareness Month and, oftentimes, victims are left with brandings, markings, or tattoo symbols on their bodies from their abusers to represent ownership.

In Columbus, they have teamed up with Above All Tattoos on Victory Dr. to help survivors in our community put the past behind them.

Jessica Lamb is the founder of Atlanta Redemption Ink who was a teenage runaway and survivor.



ARI helps survivors | Rockdale/Newton Citizen

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By Larry Stanford Dec 7, 2017

"Many people dont realize the psychological affect of being left with marks on your body can do. My personal marks were covered back in 2016 and it was not a good experience for me, and I wanted to change that and provide this service to survivors and have it be a positive and uplifting experience all the way around from the moment they fill out the application through the healing process of the removal or cover.

“I knew when God laid this on my heart back in the spring that it was the direction I wanted to take in helping assist them," Lamb said. "I stay connected with each survivor long after their marks have been covered. My heart is to see survivors continue to thrive and make strides in their recovery. We are very thankful for every artist and removal specialist that has partnered with ARI in making an impact in survivor’s lives in their journey.”

ARI has partnered with 20 trusted tattoo artists in six Southeastern states, such as Jesse Rollins of Covington, owner of Iron Clad Ink Tattoo. Rollins is a full-time firefighter with the Covington Fire Department. He has been a tattoo artist for about nine and a half years, and opened his own business about four years ago after seeing what one side of the tattoo industry is like.


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...


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.”


Redemption, by Melony Brown

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In July of 2017, Atlanta Redemption Ink was launched so the redemption Jessica found when she covered her trafficker’s logo with a new tattoo could be shared with countless others.

Over 160 survivors of sex trafficking, abuse, gang involvement, and self-harm have received tattoos to cover branding tattoos, gang tattoos, and self-harm marks.

Permanently covering the pain from their pasts. 


Jessica coordinates redemption tattoos, because she personally knows the indescribable healing found when you permanently cover the pain from your past.

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Survivors Show Hope and Restoration through Art

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By Larry Stanford

CONYERS – Atlanta Redemption Ink (ARI) hosted a unique afternoon of hope and restoration through the arts on Saturday.

The event, held at (e)station on Commercial Street in Conyers, featured a variety of artistic media done by survivors of sex trafficking, former self-harmers, recovered addicts, and survivors of domestic and gang violence who are thriving in their recovery and are stripping the labels once placed on them.

ARI is a local 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to restore dignity to survivors of exploitation, trauma and abuse by turning marks of hurt into hope and recovery.

Jessica Lamb of Conyers started ARI in 2017 after experiencing her own trauma and abuse. She wants to reach out to help others in similar situations find some measure of relief through tattoo removals and covers.

ARI assists recovered self-harmers, women/minors with sex trafficking brandings (forced tattoos by traffickers marking them as property), gang/hate tattoos, and domestic violence scars/burns. ARI connects survivors with partnered and trusted tattoo artists to assist in the tattoo removals and covers.

The art show was a fundraiser to support ARI and its mission. Different types of art were on display, and there was music, poetry, and an open mic for those who wanted to share their stories.

Lamb said it was inspiring to see survivors expressing themselves through their art.

“It was really cool to see a room of people being creative,” said Lamb. “It was just simply beautiful to see the community come and be a part of this event.”

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