Louisiana looks to cover tattoo removal for human trafficking survivors

Louisiana could soon pay for tattoo removal Sex traffickers forced them upon them.

Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board will be reviewing a regulation to make it easier for public money to be provided to victims of human trafficking.

Bob Wertz, the board’s chief staff member, said the state can only award a victim money for tattooed brand removal out of its emergency fund under the current rules, and those emergency grants are restricted to $1,000 per person.

Wertz suggested Tuesday an updated regulation, which would allow victims the ability to apply for money on non-emergency grounds. It could also be used for more costly tattoo removal procedures. 

Each year, hundreds of grants are given to victims to cover expenses resulting in crimes against them. The funds are used to cover expenses such as counseling, relocation, lost wages and childcare costs. The average limit is $15,000 per person.

To show that someone is part of a particular sex dealer, tattoos are used in sex trading. According to the Associated Press.

Wertz explained that he suggested the new regulations after a person who was a victim to human trafficking requested help to get rid of a tattoo. To help this person, the board might need to be more flexible.

First Lady Donna Edwards made human trafficking prevention a major focus of her life. She and Gov. John Bel Edwards founded the Human Trafficking Prevention Resource Center of Louisiana. This center features prominently the topic of victim branding. On its website

A survivor of human trafficking told her story, which was anonymously posted on the site. She had her brand covered with a new tattoo featuring a koifish.

“No human should ever be treated as cattle, and therefore we need to shed light on tattoos because traffickers are using them to show ownership of their victims,” the anonymous victim said, According to the quote found on the website.

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