Human trafficking victims who were branded by their abusers will have a chance for a fresh start thanks to a $2,000 grant to Into the Light from the Arvest Foundation.

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The gift was announced recently in Mountain Home, Ark. Scott Copeland, community bank president for Arvest in Mountain Home, presented the check to Gretchen Smeltzer, director of Into the Light. These funds will allow victims of human trafficking whose abusers branded them with a tattoo to have those tattoos removed. Into the Light has a partnership with a local tattoo artist that offers discounted tattoo removal services.

“Removing the tattoos their abusers forced them to get is a way for these women to heal from the trauma of their experience and cut ties with their trafficker once and for all,” said Smeltzer. “It’s very empowering for them, especially after the violence they’ve endured. We’re grateful for our community partnerships and the Arvest Foundation for providing funds to help these women start healing.”

“On behalf of the Arvest Foundation, we are proud to support the careful work that Into the Light provides for victims who have been trafficked,” said Copeland. “We are grateful for their passion to serve and bring hope to survivors.”