What is Branding?
Traffickers and abusers will commonly use tattooing, burns, or scarring to claim ownership of a victim’s body. These marks are referred to as “brandings.” The large majority of branding tattoos are not professionally done; they are most often acquired on the street by homemade guns in a very unsanitary setting.
Brandings propagate psychological enslavement for survivors because they are constant reminders of the violence the victims have suffered. The de-branding experience is empowering because it enables the victim, now a survivor, to reclaim his or her body and stand up against the trafficker.
Who is eligible to receive a de-branding scholarship?
Survivor’s Ink provides scholarships to individuals who are confirmed victims of human trafficking. Marks must be directly related to traffickers, abusers, or the survivor’s time of enslavement. Applicants must have completed or be actively participating in some form of safety or drug rehabilitation program, and be at least 6 months (preferably 1 year) removed from the lifestyle of enslavement and drug abuse. We do not provide assistance for covering up track marks, drug-related scarring, boyfriends’ names who are not participants of trafficking, or marks from unrelated domestic violence.
What does the de-branding process consist of?
We strive to provide the most memorable experience possible for these survivors to reclaim their bodies. The initial branding was not obtained by choice, so we ensure the survivors work hand in hand with the artist to obtain a tattoo of their personal choosing. We provide transportation, meals, occasional personal necessities, as well as continued support through resources and our survivors network.
Can anybody do the tattoos?
We form partnerships with specific, screened tattoo artists anywhere possible to make it easier for survivors around the world to obtain services near them. Our artists are required to abide by a specific standard of quality and behavior to ensure our survivors are properly cared for and not exposed to any further exploitation. If you’re interested in becoming a partner, please apply HERE
How can I help?
We accept direct funding for tattoos and advocacy. We also appreciate gifts of kindness, such as gas or restaurant cards, and/or other items that can be raffled at events to further raise funds. To give a life-changing gift of kindness and empowerment, click HERE
or you can mail your donations to: Survivor’s Ink P.O. Box 9184 Columbus, OH43209
This organization is a 501c3, and all donations are tax-deductible.