Massage Envy needs to support individuals sexually assaulted at their stores
Countless women have come forward to report being sexually assaulted at Massage Envy. For me, it happened on a Sunday afternoon at a Massage Envy in Richmond, VA in a crowded family shopping center. I endured a long, humiliating, and painful trial, and the massage therapist was convicted of a felony sexual assault.
But equally traumatizing was the way that Massage Envy handled the situation. I immediately reported the assault and told the manager on duty that we needed to call the police. She told me that was not necessary because Massage Envy would handle it internally. They refused to allow me to get on the phone with the supervisor. That person did call the next day – to tell me that they understood that I was “unhappy with my massage experience”, so they would not charge me for the massage.
I never heard from anyone at Massage Envy ever again. Not through the 11 months of the trial and court proceedings. Not when their employee admitted to everything and was convicted of a felony sexual assault. Not one person from Massage Envy, not from the local franchise or the national Massage Envy corporation, ever checked in with me to see how I was doing, or to apologize for what happened to me when I was at their national establishment. In fact, I continue to get advertisements in the mail for the local Massage Envy where I was assaulted.
Only after my assault did I discover that this has happened before. Countless times. The company has even released a boilerplate “Statement from Massage Envy on Sexual Assault in their Stores” (http://www.doctoroz.com/page/statement-massage-envy-sexual-assault-their-stores) in which they state “Our hearts go out to anyone who has been through this terrible act. We and our franchisees are firmly committed to delivering the therapeutic benefits of massage in a safe environment, and we applaud those who are bringing these issues to light.”
But other than issuing a statement “applauding” those who bring these issues to light, my experience clearly indicates that Massage Envy has no practices in place to support individuals who are victimized in their stores. The way they handled my assault was horrific. Let's change that for others. Let's send a message to Massage Envy that they need to change their corporate policy to put in place better procedures to protect their clients and to support individuals who are sexually assaulted at Massage Envy stores.
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