Personal Injury At The Massage Parlor: When A Massage Turns Into Sexual Assault
What’s more relaxing than having a soothing massage to knead away the stresses of the week? The firm, but gentle pressure that slowly releases all of the worries from tired muscles can be invigorating, while at the same time soothing, But what happens when the experience turns into sexual assault? Sadly, that has been the case all to frequently in Florida massage parlors, resulting in the need for local personal injury attorneys to help right the wrongs.
Defining the Problem
Obviously, touch is an integral part of a massage. So when does that touch cross over into inappropriate sexual misconduct? It can occur in many ways, of course. Just a few of the reports in Florida salons include the following experiences:
- A male masseuse pressing and rubbing his groin against a client;
- The groping of breasts;
- Fondling & invading intimate areas.
Reporting Incidents and Management Response
Nearly 200 cases of assault have been filed at multiple locations of one chain across the country. Massage Envy has been dealing with complaints for a number of years, and, in many cases, clients have not received satisfactory responses. Some managers have questioned the veracity of the complaints, and others have simply offered free massages to make up for the intolerable experience. In general, spas fail to inform clients that they should be reporting these kinds of incidents to law enforcement or the Health Department. Neither, it seems, do spas themselves file such reports, even though the Department of Health is responsible for investigating claims of misconduct. Even when massage therapists are fired from a particular spa, they are often able to continue assaulting unsuspecting clients. How is it that licensed massage therapists continue to work in the business?
Massage Therapists Move Around
When law enforcement is not involved, it gives predators the opportunity to move from one job to another and avoid consequences. Meanwhile, more and more clients are exposed to this despicable behavior.
How to Avoid Abuse During a Massage
No one wants to deal with the aftermath of unwanted sexual contact. A few things you can do to increase the likelihood of a safe and relaxing massage experience include:
- Go to someone referred to you by a trusted source;
- Check online reviews for previous client experiences;
- Check out the hiring policies of various organizations and choose one that aligns with your concerns;
- Trust your instincts. If something feels off when you arrive, cancel your appointment;
If Assault Occurs
No amount of planning can ensure your safety. In the event you are victimized in a massage spa, do not allow yourself to be shamed into keeping quiet. Remember, you are the victim. Your physical, mental and emotional health have been put at risk. The experienced and compassionate legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help you examine your legal options. Contact us in Daytona and Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation.