Scars can cut both ways: they can give us a sense of pride, or they can retraumatize by reminding us of the past. With that in mind, tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho decided to start a project called ‘A Pele da Flor’ (translation: ‘The Skin of the Flower’). Through this project, she offers free services to women who have scars from domestic abuse.
Flavia Carvalho runs a studio in Curitiba, Brasil. She’s helped women who have been stabbed by knives, shot with bullets, and covers up mastectomies as well.
I started the project quite recently, and I had no idea it would receive this much media attention. It began very spontaneously. As I said, my services are a hundred percent voluntary, and the only “cost” women need to invest is to choose a design for their tattoos!
She tells her story of how it began:
It all started about two years ago when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with a switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me
The one that shocked me the most was the story of a 17-year-old girl who dated an older man and, for months, suffered from the physically abusive relationship
When he wanted to break up with her, he scheduled a meeting, and after they began to fight, he stabbed her several times in her abdomen and violently raped her
This tattoo covers up a scar left by a bullet:
This is a tattoo she did for a woman who had undergone a mastectomy.
This is a remarkably touching idea, bringing light to otherwise dark situations.