An Australian tattoo artist has been flooded with emails and requests after she posted an offer to give free tattoos to those who wanted to cover up self-harm scars.
Inspired by a friend, who had initially started self-harming to cope with an eating disorder, Whitney Develle posted her message on Facebook and Instagram, offering her services for free. Once her post went viral, she was overwhelmed with requests for cover ups; she’ll be giving only 50 free sittings and has pledged to offer discounted tattoos to those left.
Speaking to 9News, Whitney explained that the surge in requests was “humbling but also heartbreaking”.
“I have been up late most nights [since] with a close friend replying to each and every person,”
Keen to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with self-harming, Develle has called out to other tattooists to come and help her provide all of those who’ve requested a tattoo and keep up with demand.
“The hardest part was that statistically probably 98 percent of [those who had written in] were people had self-harmed. Majority of them were too scared to speak with a tattooist out of fear of being judged”
Develle hopes that her efforts, and the courage of her friend and others to come forward will spark a dialogue about the importance of speaking to someone and getting help if you’re self-harming.
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