Indiana Lawyers for Massage Therapy Sexual Abuse Survivors
Spas and massage clinics offer personal care services that are meant to provide necessary physical care and relaxation. The relationship between clients and massage therapists or aestheticians is one of trust. Clients expect the spa or clinic will provide a professional, safe, and relaxing environment for self-care. Recent media reports, however, highlight a disturbing violation of that expectation—massage therapists sexually abusing clients. >Massage therapy sexual abuse can occur in different ways. For those who are facing this type of abuse, it is critical to understand what your rights are, and our sexual abuse lawyers can help you determine your options.
Unfortunately, there are very few national statistics on the abuses that occur as a result of massage therapy-based transgressions. However, each year, hundreds of these types of cases occur, often resulting in claims made against therapists and are thus reported to state licensing boards.
If you were a victim of any type of sexual abuse or think you could have been, reach out to our team of sexual abuse lawyers to learn more. Cohen & Malad, LLP can offer guidance and support to you in this process.
Massage Therapy Sexual Assault Illustration
A woman visited a local massage parlor for some ongoing neck and lower back pain. She had regularly visited this location before and requested a specific masseuse who had previously worked on her and done a good job. Unlike past visits, though, this time, he inappropriately touched her. He put his hands both underneath the sheets that were covering her and inside of her undergarments, which are violations of company policy. She immediately informed management and filed a report with the local police department before contacting the sexual abuse attorneys at Cohen & Malad, LLP. We have been able to guide them and present what options she may have in pursuing a civil claim.
When Does Touching Becoming Sexual Assault
Massage therapy is an intimate process. Those that seek out this type of care do so because they want the benefits of peace and relaxation it offers. Sexual assault is never acceptable, but it unfortunately happens far too frequently. Knowing where the boundaries are tends to be the hardest part for victims.
One of the specific rules about massage therapy is that no therapist should ever touch a person’s genital area or breasts during the massage or at any time. Any type of sexual conduct is prohibited between therapist and their patient under every state’s massage licensing board.
If you feel that a person has touched you in a way that is not appropriate, made sexually explicit comments to you, or has taken photographs of you, then you may be the victim of sexual abuse in this setting.
Some examples of sexual assault may include:
- Forcing a person to engage in sexual acts
- Rape or attempted rape
- Penetration of the victim’s body in any way
- Fondling or unwanted touching in a sexual manner
If you believe that someone has touched you in any way like this or in a way that made you feel uncomfortable, turn to one of our sexual abuse lawyers to learn more about your rights. Without a doubt, our team at Cohen & Malad, LLP will work hard to prove your case and help you to obtain justice for your losses.
Massage Envy Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Massage Envy is a well-known massage therapy franchise facing numerous lawsuits over alleged sexual assaults committed by massage therapists. There are over 1,100 Massage Envy franchise locations in 49 states across the United States. A 2017 media report indicated more than 180 women had filed sexual abuse lawsuits against the corporation citing incidents of inappropriate sexual touching. In some of the complaints, spa managers refused to contact law enforcement and allowed massage therapists to continue working with clients. These sexual assaults occurred in franchise locations across the United States. Legal documents indicate in some instances, women who complained to spa management were given an apology and an offer for a free massage but no action was taken to contact law enforcement.
Indiana Massage Therapist Arrested for Rape
A Butler, Indiana, massage therapist was arrested for rape in January 2020 after a massage client alerted law enforcement of non-consensual sexual activity during a massage. During the investigation into Butler Creative Touch Massage, another woman reported that she had also been subjected to non-consensual sexual activity during a massage performed by the massage therapist and owner of the facility. Massage therapist James Whitman awaits his initial hearing.
When a Massage Becomes Sexual Assault
How do you know what is appropriate and what is inappropriate during a massage? First, your massage therapist should confirm with you the type of massage requested and explain what to expect during the massage. The therapist should ask if you have any physical injuries they need to be aware of and what type of pressure you prefer. You determine the massage service. If you prefer the therapist to focus on a particular area or avoid one entirely, be sure to tell them. At no time should a massage therapist ever touch your genitals.
If you feel uncomfortable at any point during your massage, you have the right to tell the massage therapist to stop.
Sexual assault can include verbal sexual harassment or touching of a sexual nature. Brushing up against or groping of a body part as well as penetration, are all forms of sexual assault. If you experienced sexual assault during a massage, contact local law enforcement. After you’ve notified the authorities, seek legal advice. Our sexual abuse attorneys are experienced in speaking with survivors of many types of sexual abuse. There is no cost to speak to us about a potential lawsuit. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, our legal fees will be paid out of any settlement we secure for you. No one asks to be sexually assaulted. We are here to help you, contact us today.
Resources for Family Members Suspecting Abuse:
- Administration for Children and Families
- Victim Connect Resource Center
- Joyful Heart Foundation
Other Types of Sexual Abuse Claims We Handle
We are proud to help survivors and their families heal through the legal pursuit of sexual abuse claims. Here are a few more specific examples of cases we’ve handled.
- Adult on child sexual abuse
- Daycare sexual abuse
- Child-on-child sexual abuse
- Church sexual abuse
- Nursing home sexual abuse
- Residential treatment center sexual abuse
- School or sports organization sexual abuse
- Youth Sports Sexual Abuse
Damages From Massage Therapy Sexual Abuse
The compensation that you may be owed after suffering a massage therapist’s sexual abuse likely is affected by many factors. Our team will work to best understand what’s occurred and then create a plan for helping you to receive compensation for all you’ve lost.
This may include:
- Costs related to medical appointments, testing, and care
- Psychological treatment and/or counseling
- Lost time at work or inability to work
- Care for pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
No matter what your losses are, having a Cohen & Malad, LLP sexual abuse lawyer by your side helps to ensure you know your rights. Contact us today to learn more about your rights in all matters related to massage therapy abuse.
Proving that sexual abuse occurred during a massage session can be hard to do on your own. Our team will work closely with you to better understand what occurred and then will work to find the evidence available to help support your situation. Every situation is different – it is our goal to do everything we can to help you to know what your rights are.
If we determine that you likely suffered from a sexual assault, we will pursue evidence and then file a claim against the responsible parties. This may include the massage therapist as well as any organization that employs that person if they are liable or negligent in any way.
Our goal will be to settle your claim and get the compensation owed to you. This may require filing a lawsuit against the abuser and their employer. We encourage you to reach out to us for help. You should never seek out compensation or a settlement with a therapist on your own. Chances are high you will not receive the compensation owed to you.
Our sexual abuse lawyers can help you today. Contact us to learn more.