First exposed in a shocking report published by BuzzFeed News. The popular massage chain, Massage Envy, was found to have over 180 sexual assault claims made against its masseuses. Katie J.M. Baker, the author of this investigative piece, goes on to recount the disturbing stories of several of these victims. But what’s also disturbing is the way in which the Massage Envy franchise owners chose to handle those allegations.
Sexual Assault Claims At Massage Envy
One common factor found in each of the victim’s stories is the way franchise managers handled the situation. After being told by the victim that they had been sexually assaulted, the managers neglected to contact the proper authorities. Instead of reporting the sexual assault and filing a police report, they informed the victim that the matter would be handled internally.
While Massage Envy does have a zero-tolerance policy, there is little to no instruction on how to go about investigating sexual assault claims. Even the required training program for managers does little to outline a proper step-by-step process. Because of this, many of the accused masseuses are allowed to keep their jobs, or at most, receive a transfer to another Massage Envy location.
This shows a significant failure on Massage Envy to effectively train their franchise owners to properly handle sexual assault allegations. The fact that masseuses with multiple claims made against them could continue working for the spa is clearly a sign that things need to change. Luckily, it appears as though change is on the horizon. This past Tuesday, Massage Envy announced that significant changes will be made to its current policies. But will it be enough to protect clients?
How You Can Protect Yourself
One way you can ensure your safety before your next massage is to compile a sex offender report on your masseuse. This can easily be done using an online background check service, such as Kiwi Searches. Simply enter your masseuse’s name into the search field and within minutes you’ll know if that individual is a registered sex offender. Knowing this will allow you to make an informed decision regarding your safety.
Do you believe Massage Envy is doing enough to protect its clients? Are there any additional policies you think could help? If so, let us know in the comment section.