There's a disturbing new trend that's becoming increasingly common among teenagers, and the implications of it are pretty horrifying. As more and more young girls are falling into substance abuse (thanks in no small part to the opioid crisis going on right now) and homelessness, many of them are turning to abusive relationships and prostitution in order to feed their habits or even just have somewhere to live.
That's not the new part of the trend though. The new part is that more and more of these girls are being dosed with alcohol and drugs by either their pimps or abusive boyfriends, and then taken to seedy tattoo artists who proceed to tattoo these girls with the initials or names of their abusers.
There's no consistency to where and how it's done either, as the tattoos are often placed on either the girls's arms, hands, necks, butts, or even their genitalia. Suffice it to say, it's pretty horrifying.
While police continue to crack down on the exploitation of teenagers as much as they can, the girls who are able to escape these horrific fates are still stuck with the brand of their abusers, which can leave them feeling like cattle.
Fortunately, good samaritans are stepping up to help out the situation, including a man who is doing what he can to get rid of these brands, and free of charge at that.
Ben Alway of Second Skin Tattoo Removal is an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based skincare expert who specializes in the removal of tattoos, and knows a thing or two about dealing with tattoos from unsavory sources. He also certainly has nothing against tattoos, as he's covered in them himself.
However, in an immensely generous move, Alway has partnered with local youth services to offer tattoo removal, a process which ordinarily costs $200 per session, completely free of charge to youths who have been branded and are at-risk. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the potential lack of funds either.
"It's a half hour out of my time that can potentially change somebody's life or their immediate future," says Alway, who also has plenty of experience removing gang and prison tattoos. "But also mentally, it's a constant reminder. And I think by even going through the process, even though it's painful, that can be part of the healing process as well."
What do you think of this man's selfless actions?