Tattoo artist raising money with ink roses to help sex assault survivors

- Carrie Mettz-Caporusso is relieved she finally found the courage to share her secret.

She says it took her a very long time to reveal to family members she was molested by a relative when she was a small child.

"The first time I told anybody, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders," she said.

Empowered by the Me Too movement, Carrie, the tattoo artist at Lucky Monkey Tattoo in Ann Arbor, has decided to use her creative talents to help other sexual assault survivors.

On March 10th, those interested will pay $50 for a simple rose tattoo. It is an idea Carrie got when she watched the Emmys and saw celebrities wearing white roses in solidarity. 

Carrie was reluctant at first to share her story publicly, but decided to reach out to other tattoo parlors for their help.  As soon as she mentioned her idea, multiple tattoo parlors jumped on board.

"I immediately started crying like why did I do this, I don't know, I was worried about backlash," she said. "In the middle my tears, my friend CJ Cook from Depot Town said 'Hey I want to help' and then everyone started coming to help and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be." 

About a half dozen metro Detroit tattoo parlors will take part in the fundraiser. All of the money raised will go to the Joyful Heart Foundation - a charity started by Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay - which supports survivors of sex assault.  Money also goes toward testing rape kits that have been neglected.

"They are really shining a light on that," Carrie said. "And letting people know this is happening. So I thought that was the best part of their foundation."

Carrie wants to use her experience and art to give back and hopefully give other women the strength to come forward.

"Because of seeing these women coming out and now knowing how free I feel," she said. "I hope that some woman can see what I did and say okay, I can tell the world, people won't be mad at you and they will support you."

On Saturday, March 10, Caporusso - along with Lovely Monkey Tattoo & Piercing in Whitmore Lake, Depot Town Tattoo in Ypsilanti, Royalty Tattoo in Durand, and The Shop in Fowlerville, will be inking simple rose tattoos and sending 100 percent of the proceeds to the charity.

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