For thousands of women across the United States their tattoos are a constant reminder of the men who enslaved them for profit. Sex trafficking in the United States affects countless women, and many are left with the scars and marks of their former pimps.
A CNN interview with a victim and survivor of sexual slavery and addiction named Jennifer Kempton helped shed light on these tattoos.
Each of Jennifer’s tattoos mark her as property of a pimp:
Her first pimp was a man named “Salem,” and another was named “King Munch.”
Other women like Jennifer were forced into prostitution at a young age, some as young as 12 or 13. The pimps typically get them addicted to drugs so they cannot leave or provide for themselves.
These young girls are usually branded as well, according to a CNN investigation:
The crown is typically used to symbolize a pimp:
Jennifer explained how her new organization, Survivor’s Ink, helps cover up those visible scars for women who are recovering from sexual slavery:
“IT VERY MUCH SO IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL FORM OF BONDAGE”
“IT TIES YOU TO THOSE MEMORIES AND IT TIES YOU TO THOSE FEELINGS THAT YOU FELT WHEN YOU GOT THAT AND TO BE ABLE TO BE FREE OF ENSLAVEMENT AND THEN TO MAKE AN ACTIVE CHOICE OF, ”THIS IS WHAT I WANT ON MY BODY, NOT THIS MAN’S NAME OR THIS GANG’S SYMBOL, I WANT MY DAUGHTER’S NAME, I WANT A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER, I WANT A RELIGIOUS SCRIPTURE, I WANT A BUTTERFLY TO SHOW THAT I HAVE WINGS, AND I CAN FLY.’”
Survivor’s Ink helps provide money for women who want to get those old tattoos covered with new ones that symbolize their freedom from sexual slavery.
Unfortunately not every woman is lucky enough to get out of sexual slavery. There are women in nearly every city across the U.S. stuck in this grim and dark world. Women are being bought and sold every day, but people like Jennifer are trying to give hope to those who get out.