The American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) and the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance (NTSA) have partnered to create the New Beginnings: Branding Tattoo Removal program, a much-needed service for those who have been victims of sex trafficking.
Survivors of sex trafficking may no longer be victims of this horrendous crime, but chances are they carry constant reminders of their past. Many have been branded with ownership tattoos that include names, symbols and barcodes, indicating that they’re the property of the trafficker.
This dehumanizing practice can often be a reminder of the trauma a survivor has endured and can act as a barrier to the healing process.
Recognizing the problem, the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery decided to do something to help solve it. The result is New Beginnings, a national directory of ASLMS member physicians who are willing to offer sex trafficking survivors tattoo removal free of charge.
Seventy-six physician members have volunteered
“ASLMS is the ideal professional society to establish a philanthropic national registry of physicians for survivor tattoo removal,” says Paul M. Friedman, ASLMS president. “Our board-certified physicians have the expertise and devices to help human trafficking survivors in their recovery process. In just a few months, 76 members have volunteered, and we plan to expand the network even further across the country.”
The service is open to all survivors of sex trafficking who have branding tattoos and who are participating in or have completed a National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance-affiliated rehabilitation program or recovery support group.
To find a participating member, check out the New Beginnings: Branding Tattoo Provider Directory. The doctors are listed in alphabetical order by last name, but the directory can also be searched by city or state.
The American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, with more than 3,000 members, is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing laser applications and other energy-based technologies in the medical field. Its membership includes surgeons, doctors, nurses, scientists, medical device manufacturers, biomedical engineers and others.
The National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance is a national network of more than 100 service providers across the nation that are dedicated to improving services and access to care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.