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See the moving before-and-after photos of painful scars turned into art.

Violence against women scars both emotionally and physically; this artist tries to help.

See the moving before-and-after photos of painful scars turned into art.

A Brazilian tattoo artist is helping survivors of domestic violence in a unique way.

Two years ago, tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho was contacted by a woman who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen with a tattoo. The woman's story — a man stabbed her with a switchblade in a nightclub after she turned down his advances — was heart-wrenching. After tattooing the woman and seeing the joy and relief in her reaction, Flavia realized that her ink and needles could be used in a new way: to heal.



Flavia Carvalho has been giving back in an awesome way. All photos via Flavia's Facebook page and are used with permission.

Flavia began offering free tattoos to women who had scars resulting from domestic violence or mastectomies.

The project is called "A Pele da Flor," which translates from Portuguese as "The Skin of the Flower."

"The project's name refers to the Portuguese expression 'A flor da pele' (deeper than skin), which speaks of how strongly we feel when facing an extremely difficult or challenging situation," she told the Huffington Post. "'A Pele da Flor' also alludes to the fact that all of us women are like flowers and deserve to have our skin protected and embellished."

These scars were caused by a stab wound to the abdomen. Flavia tattooed this, as well as scars on the woman's hip.

Her work takes the traumatic and turns it into something empowering.

Scars can be permanent reminders of some of life's toughest moments. That's why it's so cool to see the transformation these scars undergo when Flavia layers a tattoo on top of them.

This woman was shot. Her tattoo covers the scar left by a bullet.

Each woman has her own story, and each one also has a unique way of moving forward, so Flavia works with each client to find a design to draw strength from.

"It is wonderful to see how [survivors'] relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos," she said in her Huffington Post interview. "I follow many of them on Facebook, and I see how, after being ashamed of their scarred bodies, they now post pictures in dresses, and they look happy, changed. It is transformative."

One of Flavia's goals is to raise awareness about domestic violence.

It's a noble goal, but Flavia knows it'll take much more than her tattoos for the world to end violence against women.

This woman's ex-boyfriend stabbed her on the street.

"[My work] is a grain of sand; the world is full of things that need to be addressed," she told Huffington Post. "We have a long way to go regarding protecting women against violence."

It's always great to see people caring for one another. Flavia may see her work as just a "grain of sand," but to these women, it's so much more.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Welp, the two skateboarding events added to the Olympics this year have wrapped up for the women's teams, and the results are historic in more ways than one.

Japan's Kokona Hiraki, age 12, just won the silver medal in women's park skateboarding, making her Japan's youngest Olympic medalist ever. Great Britain's Sky Brown, who was 12 when she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and is now 13, won the bronze, making her Great Britain's youngest medalist ever. And those two medal wins mean that two-thirds of the six medalists in the two women's skateboarding events are age 13 or younger. (The gold and silver medalists in women's street skateboarding, Japan's Momiji Nishiya and Brazil's Rayssa Leal, are also 13.)

That's mind-blowing.

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