Photo Gallery Follows the Text
Flavia Carvalho, a Brazilian tattoo artist, has found a way to use her skill to change the lives of people who have suffered from domestic violence—she tattoos over their scars free of charge.
The project is entitled A Pele da Flor—which means "deeper than skin" in Portuguese—and has been a passion project for Carvalho for the last two years. In an interview with Huffington Post Brazil she explains how the whole thing came to fruition.
"I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen," Carvalho explains. "She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who had approached her, he stabbed her with a switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me.
"I was suddenly struck by the idea of providing free tattoos to women who were left with scars following domestic violence or mastectomies," Carvalho continues. "Each tattoo would act as an instrument for empowerment and a self-esteem booster."
Those who survive domestic violence often struggle with the scars, both physical and emotional, for the rest of their lives. By providing a tattoo design of the survivor's choosing Carvalho gives each woman the opportunity to take a mark that they despise and turn it into something they love. While the art that Carvalho provides could never completely erase the damage that had been done, it gives the power back to the survivor as they are able to change their physical appearance.
In lieu of cash payment for her services Carvalho receives something far more rewarding when she sees how the women react to their new ink.
"It is wonderful to see how their relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos," Carvalho says. "The sense of affection, sisterhood and camaraderie is deeper than I have ever imagined."
In the gallery below you will see some of the life-altering tattoos by Carvalho.