A Kenosha, Wisconsin tattoo shop owner has dedicated himself to helping victims of human trafficking.
Free of charge, the Kenosha Tattoo Company covers up human trafficking tattoos for victims. It’s their way of standing up against an issue affecting the whole nation.
Owner Jon Principe said he is doing what he can to help through art, but the problem is more than skin deep.
“Whether it’s down the street or middle America, it’s everywhere. It’s not localized, it’s a national problem that we need to address,” said Principe. “It’s like a new beginning for them.”
Principe and his artist’s help victim’s of human trafficking reclaim their body back.
The tattoos cover up branding tattoos from the victims' former pimps.
"They no longer have to look at this and get a daily reminder of what they went through, now they can look at it and see a beautiful piece of artwork,” Principe said.
The tattoo shop has been doing this since it opened in June. They get clients from both in and out of state.
Principe, a former Racine Police officer for 14 years, worked on the human trafficking task force and saw the issue first hand.
“I want to give back, I’m in a position that we can do it,” he said.
So when he decided to open his own tattoo business he knew exactly how he could help victims erase a permanent reminder of a painful past.
“We get tears, we get tears, tears of joy every time. We do it because you can see the relief,” Principe said.
To be eligible to receive the free tattoo all victims must be referred to the shop by a local police department or organization helping the victim transition from Trafficking.
For more information you can visit the tattoo shop's website.