Founder of Survivor’s Ink Jennifer Kempton
This past week was marked by the passing of human trafficking survivor turned advocate, Jennifer Kempton. Her death at 35, apparently the result of a drug overdose, highlights one of the many problems a survivor can carry forward for the rest of their lives.
The organization she left behind, Survivor's Ink, among other services provides cover-up tattoos for women who were physically marked through abuse or branding during their time in bondage. Removing the visual reminder of a violent past is liberating, and can help to move a victim into recovery. Though she is gone, she has left behind a legacy that will endure, not only in her organization, but in countless others that she inspired others to form. Please visit their site to learn more and make a donation. Also, the family has started a crowdfunding campaign for funeral expenses.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of a beautiful soul, Jennifer Kempton, founder of Survivors Ink (SI). Our hearts are broken. We have lost an amazing person whose work, passion, and inspiration made the world a better place.
Although Jennifer is no longer here beside us in the fight against human trafficking, we seek to honor her work and legacy. We will continue to work in God’s name and in Jennifer’s memory to empower survivors to break their chains of bondage. She would expect nothing less of us.
The two main missions of Survivor’s Ink are to connect survivors to resources and to cover the marks of ownership and violence given to them by their traffickers. Every life touched by SI is in honor of Jennifer and the way she inspired us all to make a difference. And with each life we touch, we hope to find healing for the pain of losing her.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Jennifer's family and many friends in this incredibly difficult time.
Founder & Director / Inspirational Speaker / Educational Instructor / Abolitionist / Advocate
Jennifer Kempton is a survivor of human trafficking who uses her experience to promote awareness and advocate for social change. During her horrific time on the streets she was branded and sold by her abusers. After obtaining her freedom, these marks became constant reminders of her abuse until she was given a gift of a tattoo cover-up. The liberation she experienced through covering her brands inspired her to found Survivor’s Ink.
Formed in 2014 under the umbrella organization Art for Abolition and later Gracehaven, Survivor’s Ink has quickly grown into a full-service organization receiving global attention.
- 2016 Liberator Award: Organization of the Year
- 2016 Role Model Difference Maker Award - Jennifer Kempton
After establishing an independent 501c3 in August of 2015, Survivor’s Ink expanded its mission and offerings. In addition to providing cover-up tattoos (sometimes referred to as de-branding tattoos), the organization conducts street outreach weekly, passing out hygiene bags, coats, clothing, and blankets to victims of human trafficking. Survivor's Ink also provides follow-up care and advocacy to our survivors, ensuring their long-term stability and success by connecting them with the resources they need.
Jennifer has also been a cornerstone in awareness events and campaigns by sharing her story along with her firsthand knowledge of the tactics and psychology of the human trafficking industry. Some of the events at which she has been a key player include:
- Unlocking the Chains
- Concept Freedom
- Break Every Chain Conference
- Reynoldsburg Break Every Chain
- End Slavery, Cincinnati
- Eyes Wide Open
- Fit for Freedom 5K
- Transforming Scars into Art
Through Jennifer’s excellent networking skills, Survivor’s Ink has secured many partnerships and garnered support from organizations across the country including:
- Girls with Attitude / Hazels House of Hope
- CATCH Court
- Woman’s Life
- Crossroads TV Church
Jennifer’s dedication, perseverance, vision, and drive transformed Survivor’s Ink from dream into a highly engaged and successful reality. Her ability to inspire and activate volunteers and donors has paved the way for the organization’s success, while her natural leadership and networking skills will ensure future sustainability.