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The state Senate has advanced a bill authored by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) which provides a new start for young women branded or tattooed by pimps.
The Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously and with bi-partisan support approved Portantino’s AB 1956 today (7 to 0). The bill provides a first step in breaking the bonds of prostitution by allowing young women branded by pimps to take part in free tattoo removal programs. These women were left out of a federal program designed to offer young people the opportunity to remove gang tattoos.
“This bill helps generate a new start for young women who need to break free from the intimidating and troubling world of trafficking and prostitution. As the father of two daughters I am very hopeful this bill becomes law,” stated Assemblymember Portantino.
In a disturbing trend, young women are being branded for the purposes of prostitution and human trafficking. These individuals are forced to carry around these tattoos or “brands” on their body, as a constant reminder of their exploitation and abuse. Assisting these victims with tattoo removal will help them gain employment and break the psychological effect of the tattoo, further prompting them to leave the life of exploitation behind.