Growing Number of Sexual Assault Victims Filing Against Massage Envy

An investigation by BuzzFeed reports that more than 180 women have accused massage spa Massage Envy, its franchises and their employees of sexual assault.

Massage Envy is the biggest chain of massage franchises nationwide and the largest massage therapist employer in the US. In 2016, it reported $1.2 billion in sales, which averages to approximately $1.2 million in revenue for each spa.

The chain promoted trustworthy massage services at an affordable price.

There are widespread allegations that Massage Envy ignored or mishandled client’s allegations of horrifying sexual assault. BuzzFeed found that some franchises did not terminate masseuses despite multiple misconduct complaints. Other franchises fired massage therapists without reporting their offenses to authorities, giving masseuses the opportunity to find another job without any background of assault.

WTOP reports on how a local Tenleytown woman publically shared her story about assault at a Massage Envy to bring attention to the matter.

Since 2002 when Massage Envy began, it has settled numerous lawsuits outside the courts alleging that a male masseuse sexually assaulted a female client, with many masseuses abusing multiple women.

In response to pressure and negative PR, Massage Envy has promised to incorporate better background checks for masseuses; help customers in report misconduct to the authorities; and work together with anti-sexual-violence nonprofit Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) to create stronger policies and a victim support network.

Additionally, Congress has introduced the Duty to Report Sexual Assault Act of 2017, requiring massage spas to alert law enforcement to reports of allegations of sexual assault.

RAINN describes forms of sexual assault as:

  • Unwanted touching of a sexual nature
  • Forcing a victim to perform acts of sex
  • Attempted rape
  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape

After sexual assault, a victim may be unsure what next steps to take and also injured physically or emotionally. She may be thinking about working with the criminal justice system but not know how. Recovering from sexual abuse varies and could take weeks, months, or years.

Unfortunately, most victims of sexual assault do not file complaints. For every sexual abuse and assault case in the headlines, there are hundreds who do not report what happened. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, it is important for you to call a dedicated injury attorney for help