Placing trust on 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:
- You or a loved one has become a victim of sexual abuse while getting a massage
- After this incident you are not sure what your legal options may be
- You are seeking justice to hold those accountable for putting you and others in this situation
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.
Organizations that do not do their due diligence and allow abuse to happen to their patrons must be held accountable.
"Very Helpful." I was unsure of where to turn. Everyone at Abuse Guardian really helped.
Every year, millions of Americans look to unwind and relieve stress with a professional massage.
Massage Therapist Sexual Assault A Nationwide Problem
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.
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.
Massage Envy Cases Cause National Uproar
In most cases, victims of these types of assaults are permitted to sue both the person who assaulted them and their employer. It's the business owner's duty to properly screen employees and to take claims of sexual assault seriously. Massage Envy has 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.
However, 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 important to hold these predators responsible in order to prevent others from becoming victims.
What To Do After A Massage Session Sexual Assault
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:
- Speak about the experience with someone you know well and trust
- If you believe you've been assaulted, contact law enforcement
- Visit an emergency room to get a forensic medical examination
- Contact a victims' rights attorney to discuss your legal options
Remember that although a large majority of sexual assault victims are women, anyone can become a victim.
How Can A Lawsuit Help?
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.
The Civil Court System Offers Survivors A Valuable Option
In cases where a guilty offender is not charged or convicted, civil courts can help provide the justice families need. The burden of proof in a civil trial is lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard of the criminal justice system.
Lawsuits also help build nationwide awareness of these serious problems. Many victims are afraid to speak up for fear 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.