How tattoos are helping overcome trauma, domestic abuse in Brazil | Women News


Sao Paulo, Brazil – Talita Souza walked by way of the doorways of Stylo Tattoo in Sao Paulo hoping to cowl up the scars on her forearms – the results of home abuse.

Souza, a mom of two, calls the abuse incidents, the place her associate assaulted her, pulled her hair, hanged her and kicked her over a interval of 4 years, “accidents”.

“Once we speak about home violence, there’s lots of stigma, they at all times attempt to blame the lady,” Souza advised Al Jazeera. “They don’t suppose there are individuals who can harm different folks.

“As a result of he pushed me [in 2017, the time of the latest incident], it was thought-about a battle. I used to be pushed out of the door. I attempted going again in and he closed the door on me. The glass shattered and I ended up with 66 stitches and these scars.

“So it was termed an accident, a home accident.”

Souza showing some of her scars that were covered by the tattoo
Souza exhibiting a few of her scars that have been lined by the tattoo [Images by Talita Souza and Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

Souza heard in regards to the “We Are Diamonds” tattoo venture by way of one other Fb web page the place assist and recommendation was shared for victims of home abuse and determined she wanted to cowl up the scars to partially transfer on along with her life.

The venture was launched by former legislation pupil Karlla Mendes in 2017.

Mendes began designing tattoos after she realised she “liked having the ability to go away artwork on somebody’s physique perpetually”.

“In 2016, I went by way of a troublesome interval in my life, after I was type of depressed and on the lookout for one thing that may give extra which means to my profession. And I believe I discovered that by way of this venture.”

For the reason that launch of the venture, Mendes has served about 160 folks. She nonetheless remembers her first: A home helper for considered one of her shoppers who had saved three months of wage to have the ability to get a tattoo and canopy up a scar on her arm.

“Once I was drawing her tattoo, she checked out herself within the mirror and began to cry,” Mendes advised Al Jazeera at her studio.

“And there I noticed that my work might change folks’s lives. That’s after I created this venture. I advised her she didn’t need to pay and she or he might go purchase a brand new shirt or a bikini to take pleasure in her new life and ship me some photos.”

Whereas Mendes has discovered a sponsor for the gear she makes use of for this venture, the 40-year-old units apart two days every week to assist ladies transfer on from their emotional previous.

Brazilian tattoo artist Karlla Mendes poses for a photo
Brazilian tattoo artist Karlla Mendes [Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

“I obtain victims of home violence, breast most cancers, individuals who have been run over, unsuccessful surgical procedures and so forth.

Sitting close by and nodding her head in acknowledgment was 35-year-old Helloany Araquam Trufelli who underwent remedy to reverse an early menopause 9 years in the past.

The hormone remedy went on for 2 years and she or he mentioned she gained 40kg (88 kilos).

“It bothered me lots as a result of everybody requested why I used to be overweight,” she advised Al Jazeera.

“I reached 100kg (220 kilos), bought hypertension, diabetes, anemia, spinal disc herniation and needed to bear psychological remedy to just accept all the things that occurred in my life in these two years.

“My emotional state was very shaken as a result of I didn’t settle for it. It didn’t have an effect on my relationship nevertheless it did have an effect on me as a result of I didn’t be ok with being with my husband. I didn’t see myself having an athletic husband and being overweight.

“Society has prejudice, however I used to be extra prejudiced in opposition to myself, as a result of I didn’t settle for myself for being that dimension.”

After Helloany underwent a process to scale back her weight, she was left with scars from her chest right down to the left higher thigh.

She couldn’t discover a beauty process that may soften them and whereas doing he analysis, she got here throughout Mendes’s venture and determined to ship in an utility telling her story.

Brazil tattoo Artist
Helloany’s scars earlier than her tattoo and after she bought them lined up [Images by Helloany Araquam Trufelli and Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

Mendes doesn’t cost for the tattoos, the most important of which might value greater than $2,000.

“I wished to create one thing that had extra of my soul within the drawing, and never simply make regular tattoos,” she mentioned. “Jewellery and the empowerment of knickknack. Each lady likes and feels good with jewellery, so I made a decision to affiliate it with tattooing.”

However whereas the tattoos assist in overlaying up the bodily scars, Helloany’s husband urged society to deal with extra demanding points in life.

“I believe there’s an exaggerated demand for physique worship. We have to educate folks to eat higher, to indicate how essential bodily exercise is in everybody’s life,” 37-year-old William Trufelli, a bodily schooling instructor like his spouse, advised Al Jazeera.

“We have to create a mechanism so that everybody has the likelihood to maneuver round, to do a bodily exercise. And that prejudice must diminish. Simply because an individual is fats doesn’t imply they’ll’t be cool or profitable in life.”

Womans with scars on thigh covered up by tattoo
Mendes’s work overlaying up scars from a visitors accident [Images by Valeria Festa and Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

Beauty surgical procedure gone mistaken

Below the needle throughout the room from Helloany and her husband was former mannequin Nagila Gross sales, 27, who underwent an aesthetic process greater than two years in the past to “fill the buttocks” regardless of admitting her physique was “good” and she or he was “pleased with life”.

“I used to be wanting on Instagram and a good friend of mine had the filler completed and I assumed it was actually cute,” Gross sales mentioned. “I already had a pleasant physique however we generally need to do issues… and it doesn’t at all times work out.”

Admitting attending a clandestine clinic for the process was a “main mistake”, Gross sales realised issues have been going mistaken when the injuries began opening and the filler would ooze out. She was left with scars and unable to proceed her work as a mannequin.

Whereas spending 10 hours on the tattoo studio would resurrect Gross sales’s profession, Souza, the sufferer of home violence, mentioned the emotional scars would stay along with her perpetually.

“The scar at all times jogged my memory that I nearly died in entrance of my daughters,” she mentioned, recalling the incidents and breaking down.

“That’s maybe worse than bodily violence. This one left marks, the opposite aggressions didn’t go away marks, however the psychological one stays. Whereas doing my analysis, I learn one thing that one other sufferer wrote and I fairly agree with it: ‘I want there have been tattoos for the soul’.”

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