When the older man broke up with her, he stabbed her several times in the abdomen and then violently raped her.
These tattoos are able to coverup the scars of painful pasts, and help these women start to love their bodies again.
These scars no longer represent a time that these women were abused and oppressed.
The tattoos represent courage, strength, and the ability to move on for these brave women.
Carvalho said in an interview with The Huffington Post, “They [the women] come to the studio, share their stories of pain and resilience, and they show me their scars. Embarrassed, they cry, and hug me. Then we design the tattoo and we schedule the session. They become excited, optimistic…”
Carvalho is the only tattoo artist participating in this project currently, but with the media attention it has been getting, it’s sure to pick up more. She says, “It is wonderful to see how their [the women’s] relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos. I follow many of them on Facebook, and I see how, after being ashamed of their scarred bodies, they now post pictures in dresses, and they look happy, changed. It is transformative.”