Tattoos against violence
Evguenia Zakhar (33) is not your regular tattoo artist – every Monday, in her studio in Ufa, Russia, she turns the scars on female domestic abuse victims into works of art, for free.
Inspired by the work of Brazilian tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho, who also covers up the scars of abused women, Zakhar started her project in August.
She offers this service via the Russian social network Vkontakte.
In six months, more than 200 women have found themselves in Zakhar’s expert hands, each of them a victim of abuse from a violent father, husband or lover.
Her role has become that of psychologist to them too.
“To start with, it was painful to hear these stories, but, little by little, I learnt how to listen,” she confides.
“Now, I even suggest that they share their story one last time – before leaving it behind them forever once the tattoo is finished.”
Zakhar hopes to set out on her motorbike to travel around Russia with her partner to offer her services to abused women from other regions, and is looking for potential sponsors.
The commitment of this tattooist is symbolic in a country that has recently introduced a law that decriminalises domestic violence. The legislation provoked strong reactions from the Russian public, with some people fearing that it would trivialise the phenomenon.
According to the Russian minister of internal affairs, 36 000 women are victims of domestic violence every year, with 12 000 dying as a result of the abuse.
Worldwide, nearly one in every three women is a victim of domestic violence.
TINY HEROES FROM PAIN COMES BEAUTY Evguenia Zakhar tattoos over scars on women who have been abused