Bill would help ex-prostitutes remove marks of former pimps
Megan O’Neill (Los Angeles Times) | July 29, 2012
A man’s name is scrawled across Krystal Lopez’s neck in black lettering like that of a centuries-old manuscript.
It is a bitter souvenir for the 18-year-old Pasadena resident, who has worked hard to sever ties with the former pimp who inspired it and the lifestyle it represents. She has started laser treatments to have the tattoo removed at Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit supporting ex-gang members that provides the service for free.
Lopez doesn’t fit the Homeboy profile, though. She has never been in a gang, and as a result, she and others like her are deep in the queue.
“There are girls I know who have three different people on them,” Lopez said. “There is a huge waiting list for [removal services]. The priority is always the gang members.”
The wait soon may be pared down. Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) is shepherding through the California Legislature a bill that would expand the pool of people eligible for state-facilitated, federally-funded tattoo removal services to include those tattooed for identification in human trafficking or prostitution.
Photo credit: Raul Roa / TCN
Tags: Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, ex-prostitutes, Homeboy Industries, human trafficking, Krystal Lopez, tattoo removal