Tattoo artists help victims of sex trafficking transform pimp 'brands'

EUGENE, Ore. - Two Eugene business women are helping other women heal through transformation art.

Suzen Tattoozen and Vanessa Truett are providing free coverups to survivors of sex trafficking.
The two have raised $2,000 from the community and will combine their efforts to help 6 women begin their healing process.

Tattoozen said she has already helped three survivors who had their pimp's name tattooed on their bodies, a constant reminder of a horrific time in their lives.

Truett narrowly escaped such a fate herself, so this is something that is very special for her.

"The thought that people use tattooings and brandings as a way to mark property, I found that absolutely horrid and just despicable on multiple levels," she said. "As an artist, the idea was inhumane."

Tattoozen is a custom tattoo artist, so she designs unique works of art for each person.

One of the first clients agreed to speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Having to look in the mirror every day and every time I got into the shower and saw these tattoos, you see somebody else's claim on your body, and it's devastating," the 42-year-old said. "I never thought I was worth more than his (the pimp's) brand."

If you know someone who's been a survivor of sex trafficking and want more information about Transformation Ink or want to donate to help more women, you can contact the Tattoo Collective, 245 Van Buren, Eugene, Oregon, call (541) 255-2734, or visit the project's tattoo page.

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