Victims of human trafficking – and who have been literally branded – may be able to get help in the healing process. Victims of human trafficking wouldn’t have to worry about paying for expensive tattoo removal, under a bill which has passed the Illinois House. State Rep. Kelly Burke (D- Evergreen Park) is sponsoring a bill that would compensate victims for the removal of “trafficking tattoos” by adding this offense to the Crime Victim Compensation Act.
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“One method offenders use to control their victims is to brand them with tattoos, often with the pimp’s nickname or motto. Several offenders have barcodes tattooed on (the victims’) back, a not-so-subtle reminder that the victim is the pimp’s property,” Burke said. Burke says the tattoo removal is one step toward healing for victims. H.B. 2640 passed the House unanimously.