Studies show that one in six women and one in seven men will have self-harmed at some point in their lives.

The phenomenon, which is replete with chilling statistics, is most prevalent in developed nations in North America and Western Europe, and 90 percent of those who self-harm begin in their teens. Often associated with anxiety and depression, the scars left behind serve as permanent reminders of people’s darkest hours, and they linger long after their emotional wounds have healed.

One tattoo artist by the name of Whitney Develle had a heartbreaking confrontation with self-harm when she noticed that a friend’s arms were slashed with thin scars that read, “Don’t eat.” The revelation that her friend trudged through such a horrific ordeal really got her thinking. If she could cover bad tattoos, could she cover self-harm scars, too?

 

Develle’s friend agreed to let her test the waters. After careful planning and execution, she was left with a stunning tattoo that functioned as artistic armor against her past. In that moment, “The Scars Project” was born.

 

Yesterday’s piece on my rad client. #oldwoundsdoheal #thescarsproject #morethanmyscars

A photo posted by Whitney Develle (@whitneydevelle) on

 

My beautiful client who came all the way from Melbourne ? #morethanmyscars #oldwoundsdoheal #thescarsproject

A photo posted by Whitney Develle (@whitneydevelle) on

From a few weeks back on this amazing dude! #oldwoundsdoheal #morethanmyscars #thescarsproject

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A photo posted by Whitney Develle (@whitneydevelle) on

Scars coverup ?#thescarsproject #morethanmyscars #oldwoundsdoheal

A photo posted by Whitney Develle (@whitneydevelle) on