Once a scar, now art: Tattoo artist helping victims of violence

Flavia Carvalho is a 31-year-old tattoo artist from Curitiba, Brazil. A few years ago, one woman entered her studio and changed her life forever.

The customer wanted a tattoo of pink lilies and a blue bird. Flavia executed the design with wonderful artistry and craftsmanship, but she would never forget the story behind this customer's wish. 

The young woman wanted the tattoo to cover her entire belly, which was terribly scarred. The story behind the scar touched Flavia deeply. One evening the young woman was out in a club and a man approached her. Rejecting his advances, the stranger suddenly pulled out a switchblade! After being violently stabbed in the abdomen, the young woman survived, though badly injured. She was left with a massive scar: a horrific reminder of that fateful night. But then she met Flavia!

This tattoo, and the story behind the scar underneath, inspired Flavia to begin a wonderful project called "A Pele da Flor" (Portuguese for "Skin of a Flower"). She offers victims of violence free tattoos to cover their scars. The women must only do one thing: choose their own artwork. Witnessing their joy and new self-confidence is reward enough for the tattoo artist. 

These cherry blossoms cover a scar from a gun wound! The young woman was shot by her ex-boyfriend and now wears these delicate pink flowers as a sign of beauty and transience.

This young woman was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend at work. She survived the life-threatening wounds and now (thanks to Flavia) proudly wears this wonderful tattoo in place of the scar.

One story moved Flavia very deeply: a 17-year-old girl was with an older man for months. He abused her, but she couldn't get away from him. Finally he wanted to end the relationship, but met with her one last time. They began to argue and the man grabbed the girl, stabbing her several times in the stomach and brutally raping her. For the girl, the nightmare came to an end when Flavia covered the terrible scars with colorful flowers.

Even women who are suffering from breast cancer can get free tattoos from Flavia. This 55-year-old was overjoyed after her appointment with Flavia. "It is never too late to get a tattoo!" she exclaimed.

What a beautiful, practical way to help people who have suffered. Victims of terrible violence are so much more than their scars.


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