Covering up scars with a tattoo can be a spiritually liberating experience—especially when the scars are a result of horrific trauma such as domestic abuse. A Russian tattoo artist has been taking it upon herself to rid people of their scars from past violent relationships, covering them with light-hearted designs.
Russian tattoo artist, Yevgeniya Zakhar, is offering clients free cover up tattoos over scars resulting from domestic violence. Last year, the artist posted on her social media page that she would be offering abused women a way to rid themselves of their horrid scars and the painful past attached to them. Well, it wasn’t long before Zakhar's inbox was full with scar cover up requests.
To date, she has inked over 1,000 women, but Zakhar stated that she had to cut down the emotional ink sessions from multiple days a week to just doing them one day a week. Confiding in their artist, as many of us do while we’re under the needle, the clients would tell Zakhar about the horrors they experienced in their past relationships. The artist says that her clients’ stories of beating and burnings left her extremely stressed — and who could blame her — which led her to limiting the amount of projects she took on per week.
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"I didn't expect to be inundated with visits," said the Ufa-based 33-year-old artist to the AP News. "I had to work on two to four clients a day. It's really scary, scary to look at this problem and hear what people are saying.”
The designs of choice for most of Zakhar's clients are usually butterflies or flowers, as they offer a stark contrast from the scars.
Zakhar says that turning the scars into something of their own choosing boosts the women's self-esteem and helps them gain new perspectives on the trauma.
"Girls are willing to talk, often because it will be the last time they speak about the scars," said the artist, adding, "They don't talk about it later because they will be talking about their beautiful tattoo, not a scar."