SAN ANGELO, Texas — Underage youth are getting tattoos without parental consent at “tattoo parties.”

“They are having hidden parties and they are having their friends or adult friends come over and do tattoos on them,” Ballinger Police Department Officer Suzanne Torres said.

Torres and San Angelo tattoo artist, Yael Sanchez, saw the issue and felt the need to bring awareness to tattoo parties happening in places such as Ballinger.

“Parents need to be aware of what kids are going through,” Torres said.

“It is against the law to tattoo on a minor in the state of Texas, it is considered child abuse,” Sanchez said.

Torres said tattoo parties are new to West Texas, but aren't unheard of and she is asking for the help of parents and the community to stop them before another needle touches a minor.

“This just recently surfaced up for us so as it starts coming to us and as we are more aware of it, the audits, the school, the more community involvement and knowledge that’s how we can find out exactly where these things are happening,” Torres said.

In the meantime, the duo hopes to collaborate with school districts in the area to bring informative seminars to classrooms and begin the conversation.

“Where we can visit high schools have a gathering in the auditorium and educate them and include the parents,” Sanchez said.