Vivid Tattoos Help Victims Of Abuse Heal With Color And Beauty

There are a lot of wonderful ways to put something positive back into the world.

Some people donate whatever money they can spare. Others volunteer in soup kitchens, or help to rescue abandoned elderly dogs.

Fortunately, charity knows no bounds; almost any skill or interest can be applied to helping people. You just sometimes need to get a bit creative with your approach.

Thats exactly what talented tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho did when she realized that her skill could be put to use for a very special purpose: covering up scars.

The artist, who lives in Brazil, started a yearlong project called “A Pele Da Flor,” or, translated from the Portuguese, “Deeper Than Skin.”

The heartwarming project was aimed at creating beautiful body art free of cost for women looking to embrace and learn to love their scars.

Some of them came in with marks left by mastectomies or cesareansections, but the majority of women that Carvalho treated were victims of violence or domestic abuse.

She chronicles the project in a beautiful before-and-after photo series that touches on the heartbreaking stories behind her art, and the profound strength of the women who take their scars and use them to heal, despite everything.

Please note that the following content may be disturbing to some viewers.


Flavia Carvalhooriginally began her project to make a difference in the healing process of the victims of violence. She told Huffington Post:

“It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with a switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me.”

Each and every tattoo Carvalho has created since has a similar story, ofturning a reminder of something ugly and violent into an emblem of beauty, hope, and self-esteem. She chronicles these stories briefly on her Facebook page.

This joyful scene of birds and flowers helps to transforms a series of scars left behind on the victim of an attempted murder.

Carvalho notes on her Facebook page that this women was stabbed in the stomach, and was left with scars from the attack and the medical treatment.

Carvalho uses her design to create a new significance to the scars, as part of a hopeful and beautiful future.

This young woman carries a dark oblong scar on her back, from a single bullet fired by her ex-boyfriend.

Instead of letting the scar remain a reminder of tragedy, Carvalho covered it with a spray of cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms, a springtime flower, symbolize new life and femininity, and serve as a reminder to live every day to the fullest.


This lower arm design was created not for a victim of domestic violence, but of a horribly tragic accident.

In 2013, a massive fire overtook a nightclub called Kiss, killing nearly 250 people. This woman was among the few who survived contact with the fire and lost her boyfriend in the flames.

Now, years later, her burn marks transform into a warrior woman, symbolizing her fighting spirit.

This young woman was shot in the knee by her ex-partner.

The scar, though quite small, must have been a painful reminder of that time.

Carvalho transformed it into something beautiful and uplifting by tattooing it with a tiny, colorful owlet, flying up into the sky!

This scar comes with a profoundly challenging story, and some beautiful symbolism.

The woman who requested this scar had a rough life, living on the street as an addict for around two years.

In that time, she encountered all kinds of violence, including the above scars left by a shotgun.

Carvalho created a glorious phoenix out of the scars, a symbol of rebirth and rising from the ashes.

These scars were left on a young woman after her boyfriend drunkenly stabbed her during an argument.

While she was in the hospital, he died from drug and alcohol intoxication.

After she recovered, she selected a design of a beautiful and vibrant young woman to transform the scars left behind.

This puckered scar calls to mindthe scar that started it all, sustained by a young woman who refused to kiss a man in a nightclub.

He stabbed her in the abdomen with a switchblade, leaving a deep wound.

When the scar healed, the woman went to Carvalho for a beautiful tattoothat would change the meaning of the scar.

Carvalho’s tattoo project may be over for now, but she’s still working every day to help the victims of domestic violence make their voices heard.

Check out her Facebook page, and make sure toSHARE her beautiful, life-changing work!

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Her Husband Beat Her Every Day. When The Movers Showed Up? They Did THIS [WATCH]

Many times the biggest hurdle in leaving an abusive relationship is the overwhelming nature of actually having to physically leave the situation.

After all, this is not a case of simply moving. It is very emotional and can be very stressful to pull off when you are dealing with an abusive individual as a partner. There is a heroic California moving company which is offering up a service which will move you out of your abusive situation, for free.

The name of the company is Meathead Movers and they have teamed up with non-profit Good Shepherd in order to assist domestic violence victims with getting out of their situation as quickly and easily as possible.

The non-profit identifies the abusive situations and Meathead works directly with them to assist at no cost. The service is in line with the character of the mostly men working at the company who all beleive that real men never resort to abuse. Instead real men help out those in need.

Those who qualify will work through the nonprofit to set up a moving situation. The charity will work with the movers on a monthly basis to provide these services.

Meathead Movers was founded in 1997. The president and CEO Aaron Steed says the following about working with the non-profit to provide the services to those in need:

We know how hard it is to pack up someones life and move it to a new location but its unimaginable to think about a woman and her children trying to pack up all their belongings and flee before the abuser returns home. When we realized we had the resources to help provide a fresh start for these victims, we knew Good Shepherd was the perfect organization to connect us with those who need our services most.

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Tamron Hall Speaks Out About Her Sister’s Tragic Death

“Today” and MSNBC host Tamron Hall is finally speaking out about the murder of her sister, Renate, after much hesitation.

In an interview published by People on Wednesday, Hall talked about her relationship with Renate, her stepsister, and shared her sister’s past experiences with domestic abuse, saying that she had a tendency to “fall for men who took advantage of her.”

“No one deserves what happened to my sister,” Hall told the magazine. “For a long time I was hesitant about sharing our story. I didn’t want to be another well-known person saying, ‘Look what happened to me and my family.’ But then I said, screw that. I can save a life.”

In 2004, Renate was found brutally beaten and floating facedown in her backyard pool in Houston, Texas. The only person of interest named in the case was a man with whom Renate said she had a “love-hate relationship.” But due to lack of evidence, no arrests were made and her homicide case remains unsolved.

“Do we know who did this to her as defined by a court of law? No,” Hall said, explaining that she once witnessed a “brutal altercation” between her sister and the man. “But I can tell you I witnessed an act of violence and there were only two other people in that room.”

Since her sister’s death, Hall has taken a stand against domestic violence by working with groups like Safe Horizon and Day One. In addition, Hall’s show, “Deadline: Crime” helps families who’ve faced similar tragedies as her own find closure.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

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How This Female Chief Broke Up 850 Child Marriages In Malawi

One woman established a new law to prevent child marriage, and is enforcing it with serious gusto. 

Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi, was tired of seeing 12-year-old girls walking around with babies on their hips, according to Al Jazeera. She decided to take a stand and made 50 of her sub-chiefs sign an agreement to end child marriage in her area of authority.

“I told them: ‘Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated,'” Kachindamoto told the news outlet.

UN Women

But she didn’t stop there: She made the leaders annul any existing underage unions, and send all of the children involved back to school, according to the Nyasa Times. 

While marrying under age 18 in Malawi has been illegal since early 2015, children can still be married under so-called “customary law,” meaning with parental consent and overseen by traditional leaders, reports Al Jazeera.

When four male chiefs continued to approve underage marriages, Kachindamoto suspended them as a warning to others, only hiring them back once they confirmed they had annulled the unions, according to Al Jazeera.

“First it was difficult, but now people are understanding,” she said to the outlet.

To ensure children are not being pulled out of school, Kachindamoto operates a secret network of parents to keep an eye on others. And when parents can’t afford to pay school fees, she’ll pay them herself or find someone else who can.

“I don’t want youthful marriages,” Chief Kachindamoto told U.N. Women. “They must go to school. No child should be found at home or doing household chores during school time.”

In June alone, she annulled more than 300 child marriages, according to the organization. And over the past three years, the figure reaches close to 850.

Per-Anders Pettersson via Getty Images
Suzana Nabanda, age 16, walks with her sister after a marriage ceremony in2006, in a poor village in Malawi. She just got married to a farmer.

Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with an alarming one in two girls married under age 18, according to Girls Not Brides. Marrying underage negatively affects girls’ development, interrupting their education and putting them at higher risk of domestic violence and early pregnancy.

In poor, rural regions like the Dedza District, rates of child marriage are particularly high, according to Unicef, and it can be hard to convince parents not to marry off their daughters in exchange for a dowry.

That’s where Chief Kachindamoto comes in. 

“I talk to the parents,” she said to U.N. Women last year. “I tell them: if you educate your girls you will have everything in the future.” 

H/T Al Jazeera.

UN Women/Ryan Brown


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Relationship Issues–Let Him Stay in Jail!

Marilyn Joyce/Augusta,GA:  If my broadcast listeners recall, in June 2006, we discussed the very public beating of Kim Myers by her husband, Brett in front of a restaurant in Boston. Multiple witnesses placed 911 calls during the incident in which the Philadelphia pitcher left his wife lying on the concrete following repeated blows to her face. She bailed him out of jail. In October, she requested (in writing) for all charges to be dropped stating there is no violence in our family. In the presence of so many witnesses, the charges should have stood – something the judge knew and chose to ignore. Kim Myers is not the first sports wife to drop assault charges to try to save a doomed marriage.

In reality, some of our greatest conflicts occur behind closed doors, in the privacy of our own homes. For example, in a 1991 survey conducted by the Justice Department, only 9% of acts of domestic violence were committed by spouses; the majority of the offenders were boyfriends or ex-husbands. In a more recent 2003 study reported by the Criminology journal, higher rates of physical violence occurred with live-in relationships. Assault is a level of conflict that has escalated beyond acceptable levels; and these findings indicate that divorce does not necessarily stop the possibility of a physical attack among couples. Even co-habitation, which many have used to screen the relationship for potential problems, does not prevent violent conflict in intimate relationships.

We’ve all faced conflict resolution dilemmas: dealing with difficult co-workers, working for a demanding manager, confronting challenging employees, or a strong willed child. Developing life coping skills is an essential problem solving measure which is the responsibility of each individual, says Psychotherapist Dornell Mister, MSW, CAC II (Orlando, Florida) during a 2007 radio interview (In the Purpose Zone with Marilyn Joyce) on WKZK. Basically, this means: if you want something different, you have to do something different. How many times have we heard that one?

Years ago, a neighbor confided she had stopped watching the soaps because, after weeks of picking fights with her husband every evening; she realized she was actually angry with some unfaithful soap opera guy. She solicited my support of her new understanding that changing old behaviors would yield different results. A reality check, self-evaluation, and a behavioral adjustment ended a major relationship conflict. A lesson that Kim Myers and Judge Raymond Dougan obviously have not learned.

What about these relationship conflicts that end in physically violent outbursts can it be prevented? That depends upon the attitude of the individuals. My neighbors were willing to take a close look at their situation, evaluate honestly, and make realistic adjustments before things got out of hand. In the end, the love and respect they had for one another prevailed.

‘A relationship is beyond a relationship. There is one that has value, one that has respect, and there’s one that has the ability to grow and be all you can be together – not all you can be by yourself’, says Dornell Mister.

Here is a summary of the 7 key strategies for successful relationship conflict resolution Dornell Mister shared during The Purpose Zone broadcast:

  • Agree to disagree
  • Learn how to compromise
  • Respect the person you’re with (their thoughts, opinions, and feelings)
  • You must love your partner
  • Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol as they affect your thought patterns (Kim & Brett had both been drinking)
  • It’s difficult to problem solve on an empty stomach
  • Do an in-depth self-evaluation in order to develop life skills (strategies) that work effectively for you to resolve conflict

Survive, Get a Life & Do Your Destiny!!
Marilyn Joyce

Tricked Out of Voting Rights, Part 2

column.jpgMarilyn Joyce/Augusta, GA: How easy is it to be tricked out of the right to vote? Not possible, you say? Think again.

Ever had a traffic violation? Got carried away at a college or office party and found yourself on the other end of a disorderly conduct or public intoxication charge? What about the divorce from hell coupled with false child abuse charges that were next to impossible for you to disprove? Traffic violations, disorderly conduct and abuse are examples of misdemeanor and felony charges that lead to a whole process involving jail, fines and probation. Wish we were all good little girls and boys, but the truth is: stuff happens and people are sometimes guilty of behaviors they now regret. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in the system, chances are someone in the system told you that you’ve lost the right to vote. Worse than that: you believed it.

Let’s be honest. There are those who feel superior to people who’ve been in trouble with the law. They boldly say that felons’ rights are unimportant. How quickly they forget that Robert Downey Jr. is a felon. Martha Stewart is a felon. Country singer Glen Campbell is a felon. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is a felon. Home Improvement, Toy Story, and Santa Clause 1,2 and 3 actor, Tim Allen is a felon. It’s all too true that prominent figures in our society stand a better chance of leniency when facing charges. While regular citizens – men and women alike – are more likely to face the stigma and consequences of a criminal record. Yet, I know many respected lawyers, doctors, nurses and pastors who are felons. Most people have no idea how many felons they interact with on a daily basis.

Nationally, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. 1.4 million Black men and 2 million Whites and Hispanics. According to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy) and The Sentencing Project (a criminal justice system research and advocacy organization) ex-felons comprise 2.5% of the state of Georgia’s population. 53% are African Americans which is 11% of the entire Black male population in the state. Over 66,000 African-American ex-felons in Georgia have not registered to vote. My question: what if they have not registered because of misleading information? They’ve been disenfranchised.

Disenfranchised: a word we hear a great deal during election cycles. It means: to deprive, rob, deny, take away civil or electoral privileges. The state of Georgia has passed laws in an attempt to address this issue, but if people abuse their power and continue to dispense false and misleading information, we must step up our efforts to educate the community.

Ten states restrict voting rights for people who only have misdemeanor records. Only 2 states allow people to vote while in prison: Vermont and Maine. In a few states, including Virginia and Georgia, you lose the right to vote while in jail, prison, while on probation, and while paying fines. Losing the right to vote until all fines or fees are being paid, has been called a poll tax – clearly a violation of the 24th Constitutional Amendment. Yet, only the state of Mississippi, in accordance with the 24th Amendment allows felons to vote during presidential and federal elections.

During the 2008 presidential elections, over 250,000 ex-felons were eligible to vote in the state of Georgia. Yet, less than 10% actually exercised their rights. Not surprising when I discovered probation offices told felons and then told me (to my face) that misdemeanor and felony offenders lose their right to vote after they’ve satisfied all of the terms of their sentencing.  During my Georgia investigation, young Black men in particular told me they had ‘caught a charge’ (felony) in the past and their parole/probation officer told them (falsely) they’d lost their voting rights. One was told to wait 5 years before he could register. One said he’d been off probation for 3 years, but his probation officer told him that he would be arrested if he ever registered to vote. ‘I don’t want to go back to jail’. In time, I’d had about 50 similarly disturbing conversations.

Studies have shown that young people (under 30 years old) are notorious for getting their information by word of mouth instead of checking things out for themselves. They believe the word on the streets and anything they hear from YouTube® to the criminal justice system spreads like wildfire. I was unable to convince these men that their former probation officers had talked them into the state of disenfranchisement. If you have a criminal record, it is your responsibility to be fully informed and to then act on the truth that you know.

Many states make it next to impossible to get voting rights restored. Mississippi, for example requires each individual felon to ask their state representative to write a bill that has to be passed by both houses of the state to give that one individual their voting rights back. That requires literally thousands of people to request thousands of individual bills to be sent through the legislative process. In Georgia, since 1983 felons have had the automatic right to vote when their probation, parole, and fines are complete:

“Georgia law allows a person who has completed their sentence, (including any fines, parole or probation) to immediately re-register. There is no waiting period, special application or other process. All a person needs to do is re-register.”  From the office of the Secretary of State

Read the Georgia law yourself right here:

Georgia Constitution, Article II, § 1

Every person who is a citizen of the United States and a resident of Georgia as defined by law, who is at least 18 years of age and not disenfranchised by this article, and who meets minimum residency requirements as provided by law shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the registration of electors.

No person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude may register, remain registered, or vote except upon completion of the sentence.

Georgia Code § 21-2-216

(a) No person shall vote in any primary or election held in this state unless such person shall be:

(1) Registered as an elector in the manner prescribed by law;

(2) A citizen of this state and of the United States;

(3) At least 18 years of age;

(4) A resident of this state and of the county or municipality in which he or she seeks to vote; and

(5) Possessed of all other qualifications prescribed by law.

(b) In addition to the qualifications in subsection (a) of this Code section, no person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude may register, remain registered, or vote except upon completion of the sentence and no person who has been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent may register, remain registered, or vote unless the disability has been removed.

Civil rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer would be disappointed to see the Black community depriving themselves of a right that ultimately caused her early death. In 1964, when she was 44 years old, Fannie Lou Hamer said some people showed up in her Mississippi community to inform them that Black people could vote. Even though the 15th Amendment had given Blacks the right to vote in 1870, most Blacks (especially in the South) had no idea they could participate in the political process. When she learned she had been disenfranchised, that very same day Fannie joined 19 people from her community for the bus ride that would take them to court to register to vote. On the way, they were stopped, arrested and beaten all night. That did not squelch her determination. Not only did she register to vote, Hamer went on to make legislative history. However, Fannie’s decision to register caused her family to lose everything and the injuries from that severe beating led to her early death in 1977.

Today, all one must do to be informed is go to the library, pick up a newspaper or do a search on the internet. There is not a good reason to be afraid, ignorant, intimidated, denied, robbed, deceived or disenfranchised anymore. Now that you know, go out and Do Your Destiny! Register to vote.


Marilyn Joyce, social commentator, speaker and author of ‘If He Doesn’t Deliver; Domestic Violence in the Religious Home’. Join her for more straight talk about abuse and success strategies to survive, get a life and Do Your Destiny at: Join her in cyberspace and post your thoughts on the blog:


The Fields Of Counseling And Human Services


Mandatory mediation and other trends in U.S. family court processes are leading to significant job growth in human ser vices and other fields where professionals can play a role in improving a family’s quality of life.
Mandatory mediation and other trends in U.S. family court processes are leading to significant job growth in human services and other fields where professionals can play a role in improving a family’s quality of life.

(NAPS)— There’s a rising need in today’s society for compassionate, well-trained, professional counselors and human services staff dedicated to addressing the deeper family issues hidden beneath complex family court cases, such as those involving child custody, domestic violence, addictions and abuse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the psychology field, human services and counseling are expected to grow by more than 20 percent between 2012 and 2022.
The fields of counseling and human services provide opportunity for career growth in the private sector and with the government agencies due, in part, to an increase in the adoption of mandatory mediation by family law courts.
Right now, however, many of these types of services are not sufficiently integrated. For many families, addiction, domestic violence and the criminal justice system thwart their hopes for healing.
“Family courts across the country are experiencing a crisis through a lack of resources due to budget reductions, an increase in the number of divorce and child custody cases, and inadequate or deficient processes for handling cases involving these issues,” says Rick Froyd, Ph.D., program dean of counseling and human services for University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences.
“More than ever, we have an opportunity to train the next generation of counselors and human services professionals to take a humanistic approach to addressing these complex issues in our community courtrooms and public programs,” Dr. Froyd says.
For people working in the field and students who hope to someday make an impact in the community as licensed counselors or human services staff, the University works directly with the American Association for Marriage and
Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, National Board for Certified Counselors, and National Organization for Human Services to ensure that these programs fill skills gaps in social science professions.
Dr. Froyd is a licensed marriage and family therapist who served as a child custody recommending counselor and mediator in the California court system for 10 years.
Learn More
You can find further facts on the need for counselors and the courses that can help you become a part of meeting that need at