Sexual Assault By Massage Therapists At Massage Envy And Other Spas
Horowitz Law has been at the forefront of exposing the staggering number of incidents of sexual assault at Massage Envy and other chain spas by massage therapists. We file lawsuits against Massage Envy, Hand and Stone Massage, and other businesses and spas where these sexual assaults occur.
Adam Horowitz has been featured extensively on the subject of sexual misconduct in the massage therapy field. A Buzzfeed investigative report on sexual misconduct at Massage Envy locations relied heavily upon the dozens of cases brought by Adam Horowitz against the well-known spa chain. Incidents of sexual abuse have occurred in large national chains (such as Massage Envy, Hand & Stone, Massage Green Spa, MassageLuXe, Elements Massage, Massage Heights and Essentials Massage), luxury hotel spas, and smaller storefront spas. Sadly, the perpetrators of these assaults are often repeat offenders who prey on the vulnerability of their clients.
Massage therapy is a billion-dollar industry; one in four adults have had a massage within the past year. Countless people go to spas, hotels and other locations to receive a massage for relaxation, pain relief, detox or therapy. Unfortunately, there is an extraordinary amount of incidents of sexual assault in the massage therapy setting. In recent months, there have been well-publicized complaints and lawsuits involving sexual assaults by massage therapists.
Sexual Abuse In The Massage Therapy Setting Is Among The Most Traumatic And Under-Reported Of All Forms Of Sexual Assault
Massage therapists in most states are licensed and regulated by a Department of Health. It is not normal or legal for massage therapists to make contact with your breasts or genitalia during the course of a massage. This type of physical contact is also banned by the ethics and professional licensing rules for massage therapy.
Getting a massage leaves the client very vulnerable. Usually, the client is lying down naked in a dark, unfamiliar room with a massage therapist they do not know. Frequently, the therapist is a person of the opposite sex. Sometimes, the client is getting his/her first massage and does not understand what is and is not acceptable. Some massage therapists take advantage of these conditions to assault clients. Then, they try to claim that the victim’s allegations are a misunderstanding due to the nature of a massage therapy technique.
In addition, a massage therapist and client have an inherent imbalance of power. If a massage therapist initiates sexual contact, it is common for the victim to feel shocked, afraid and “freeze” involuntarily. The fight or flight response is paralyzed by the nature of the massage therapy. This “freeze response” is a normal response to the trauma of sexual assault. It occurs because the body and brain were attempting to relax when they experienced sudden, unwanted sexual contact. As a result, many victims of sexual assault in massage settings do not scream, protest or try to escape the room. Feelings of confusion, followed by shame and guilt often accompany the assault. Even if you experienced the freeze response, you should not feel embarrassed. It is not too late to take action against your assailant and their employer.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault in a spa or during a massage at Massage Envy, MassageLuXe, Hand & Stone or any other location offering a massage, or if you know someone who has been a victim, please contact our law firm at 855-485-1673 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] to review your best legal options.