Great news for some exploited & abused women & girls who really need it! Law approved to remove “branding tattoos” done by pimps & sex traffickers:
[Examiner] Just two days after Stacy Katz, Executive Director for Oakland’s WestCoast Children’s Clinic (WCC), urged Governor Brown to sign AB 1956 into law, the Office of Governor announced on Sept. 29 that he did. AB 1956, Tattoo Removal for Juvenile Victims, will expand existing tattoo removal services provided to rehabilitated former gang members to include sex trafficking victims who were tattooed as a form of “branding” by their exploiters.
In her op-ed article in The Bay Citizen last week, Katz reported, “Sex trafficking has become such big business around the globe that pimps are tattooing young women to brand them as their property.” WCC is a nonprofit children’s psychology clinic that has been serving child victims of trauma for over 25 years.
WCC’s clients include over 100 Bay Area victims of commercial child sexual exploitation, which is one form of human trafficking according to the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. “Removing tattoos of sex-trafficked young women is a first step toward their recovery,” Katz wrote.
Polaris Project, a leading non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., that fights human trafficking, appealed to California citizens in April to encourage their state legislators to support AB 1956. Polaris Project Policy Counsel James Dold, J.D., referred to a Los Angeles case of an alleged sex trafficker accused of forcibly tattooing his street name onto one of his minor victims to identify her as his property.
In the blog entitled “A Permanent Evil,” Dold wrote, “Even after escaping their trafficking situations, these victims are forced to view this constant and permanent physical reminder of the tragedies that they were forced to endure at the hands of evil men.”
While advocating for the passage of AB 1956, which Dold said was the “first of its kind,” he wrote, “If it becomes law, survivors of this form of modern-day slavery will no longer have to live with the constant reminder of their tragic past.”
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