Local Ministry and tattoo shop partner to help sex trafficking victims

Posted at 8:50 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 00:00:48-04

Sex traffickers often brand their victims with tattoos stripping away hope of ever escaping.

The life of a human trafficking victim being branded by their trafficker is a control tactic used on victims.

Only a handful of human trafficking victims ever find their way to freedom.

Monster Ink is partnering with Magdalen Hope to erase the past.

In the documentary 'The Trafficked Life,' Dana, a former prostitute recalls nightmares of her past and the tattoo that left a scar on her soul. 

"It’s like the night of the living dead out there. People are heartless they have no compassion they don’t care if you live or die,” Dana said.

Over the course of 30 days there could be up to 750 victims working the streets or being sold online here in Kern County.

Union Avenue is home to Bakersfield's illegal prostitution scene also known as the red light district.

"Well that’s the place where we can to go get a prostitute or where the prostitutes are sold," Doug Bennett, founder of Magdalene Hope Ministries. 

Doug Bennett is the founder of Magdalene Hope Ministry, a home dedicated to restoring women’s lives and shedding light on a subject uncomfortable to most.

By creating the documentary *The Trafficked Life* he hoped to start the conversation by telling the stories and the reality of women who he saved from a life on the streets. 

Branding is a common practice to identify prostitutes and self-destruct any hope a victim has left.

It happened to Dana. she had her trafficker’s name tattooed on her back.

"She came to me and said i would like to get this off of me. i said i don’t think we can get it off of you but we can cover it up," Bennett said. 

Bennett called a friend and together they created a partnership to erase the past of human trafficking.

Rogelio Frausto works at Monster Ink in East Bakersfield.

Bennett told him about Dana and the tattoo she didn’t want. and Frausto was happy to help. 

For every human being trafficked in the United States more than half are branded. Marked like cattle –stripped of their integrity and filled with hopelessness, Dana was one of the lucky ones.