Placing trust in someone to give you a massage should be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. However, there are those who can and have taken advantage of this trust. You may be at this page, because:
We believe you. The lawyers at Abuse Guardian are here to help you through this difficult time. Find more on your legal options in a free consultation today. Learn more about our sexual abuse lawyers.
Every year, millions of Americans look to unwind and relieve stress with a professional massage.
When you pay for this treatment, you expect your massage therapist to be someone you can trust. Allowing a stranger to give you a massage can put you in a vulnerable position, but no one expects to be violated when dealing with a professional.
Unfortunately, cases of sexual assault by massage therapists and spa employees have been on the rise in recent years.
We believe, and we believe your story should be told, loud and clear. Our attorneys can help you overcome this terrible violation and find your voice again. You are not alone. We are here to provide you a guiding hand, both emotionally and legally. Our dedicated legal team is here for you, in whatever way we can help.
Across the country, victims of massage-related sexual assaults have been coming forward to tell their stories. Nationwide chain Massage Envy has received the majority of complaints, though a growing number of similar allegations have been leveled against massage therapists working for Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, a main competitor.
In most cases, victims of these types of assaults are permitted to sue both the person who assaulted them and that person's employer. It's the business owner's duty to properly screen employees and take claims of sexual assault seriously. Spas have allegedly ignored complaints or dismissed them as frauds.
A lawsuit helps hold these companies responsible for the conduct of their employees and for failing to take the dangers of sexual assault seriously. Victims deserve justice and to be heard, not to have their traumatic experiences swept under the rug. If you've been violated by a massage therapist, it's normal to feel angry, frustrated, and confused. These predators may work slowly to build trust before committing an assault.
It's never okay for a massage therapist, or anyone else who hasn't been given permission, to touch you around your genitals, breasts, or other private areas. It's a deep violation of the professional's code of conduct. It's important to hold these predators responsible in order to prevent others from becoming victims. Learn more about sexual abuse at Massage Envy.
Many victims may initially freeze up upon unwanted contact. This is a very jarring experience which shocks you from your previous state of relaxation into a state of heightened anxiety. The experience may feel surreal, and some victims end up convincing themselves that nothing inappropriate happened.
It's very important to take your instincts seriously. If you feel you've been sexually violated, you should take the following steps:
Believe your intuitions. Remember that although a large majority of sexual assault victims are women, anyone can become a victim.
The criminal and civil courts are both useful in these cases. It's extremely important to criminally prosecute sex offenders and take them off the streets, but convictions are the primary motivation in the criminal justice system.
Civil courts, on the other hand, help hold offenders and their enablers responsible for allowing sexual abuse to occur, while providing compensation that victims need after suffering a traumatic experience. Civil litigation offers sexual assault survivors a way to have their voices heard, not just as victims but as active participants in the pursuit of justice. It can be unfathomably empowering to speak your truth in court and demand justice. For many victims, pursuing a civil lawsuit becomes a necessary step on the road to recovery, a way of finding the power inside yourself to heal after a horrific violation.
In cases where a guilty offender is not charged or convicted, civil courts can help provide the justice families need.
Lawsuits also help build nationwide awareness about these serious problems. Many victims are afraid to speak up for fear of people not believing them. But when these victims see others across the country speaking out about the same experience, they may summon the courage they need to tell their own stories. It doesn't have to be as specific as sexual assault by a massage therapist - victims of all kinds feel empowered when they see and hear others speaking out against sexual assault and abuse.