City Launching Free Program Where Sex Trafficking Victims Can Remove Tattoos

August 20, 2018 - 6:52 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A new program in New York City will help people erase the past by removing gang tattoos – and they'll do it for free.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reported Monday, young kids – children really – are being forced into sex slavery, and the numbers are up in New York City.

“We’ve observed an increase in the number of New York City youth who have been identified as either having been trafficked themselves or at risk of trafficking, and then we’ve also encountered individual young people who have been branded by their traffickers,” said Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner David Hansell.

They are branded with tattoos – names of their pimps, names of gangs, even barcodes. They can leave the life behind, eventually, but that tattoo isn’t so easy to get rid of.

“Removing a tattoo can be very expensive. It can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the size and the extent of the work that’s required,” Hansell said.

So Hansell has started a program to get rid of those tattoos for free. It is the first citywide program in the country to do, and already, people have signed up.

It can help the feeling, and it will help make the people’s past lives a little more visible.