Ohio offering tattoo removal grants for victims of sex trafficking

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is releasing grant money to help victims of human trafficking get their tattoos or brand markings removed.

“The journey of a survivor out of slavery and addiction and trauma is hard enough without a permanent reminder that literally is part of your skin,” Yost said in a written statement Thursday. “These grants will enable women to leave behind the brand that identified them as someone else’s property.”

The AG’s Crime Victim Services section will make available $10,000 grants to local non-profits that deal with human trafficking and are approved by courts that focus on human trafficking.

Related: Forced labor trafficking victim in Dayton hidden 'in plain sight'

Currently, human trafficking specialty docket courts exists in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Summit counties.

Yost made the announcement at the 10th annual human trafficking awareness day at the Ohio Statehouse.

Columbus-based Survivor’s Ink helps sex trafficking victims cover their tattoos or other markings. It was founded by Jennifer Kempton, a survivor of human trafficking who died in May 2017.

Yost said the grant program will be named in Kempton’s honor.

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