Massage Envy is a widely popular wellness franchise that specializes in massage and skincare services. It is the largest chain of massage spas in the United States.
Sexual assault allegations are unfortunately on the rise for Massage Envy franchises. In New Jersey alone, five women have come forward alleging that they were sexually assaulted at different New Jersey locations of the chain.
Nationwide Sexual Assault Allegations
There are 1,200 Massage Envy locations nationwide, and over 400 sexual assault allegations have been made against many of these locations in the past two years. This began with an investigative report by BuzzFeed News in 2017, revealing 180 initial accusations of sexual assault at multiple Massage Envy locations. Further, it cited insufficient corporate policies for dealing with such situations.
In their statement, the corporation claims that they are committed to providing a safe environment for their customers, and urges anyone who experiences anything other than a safe environment to report it.
Latest Sexual Harassment Case
A New Jersey resident states that she was forcibly kissed and groped by a male employee at the franchise’s Short Hills location. According to the lawsuit, it is the second sexual assault claim at that specific location.
Other locations accused of sexual harassment and assault in New Jersey include franchises in Closter, Piscataway, and Mays Landing.
Victims Who Reported the Incidences State That Nothing Was Done
Many of the victims who reported the assaults to management state that nothing was done about it. The lawsuit filed against Massage Envy alleges that they knew about the assaults and discouraged customers from reporting them to the authorities, in addition to not doing anything.
Massage Envy’s corporate headquarters released a statement saying that they support victim’s decisions to report misconduct. The statement goes on to say that franchise locations are required to supply customers who complain about being sexually assaulted with contact information to the state board and local law enforcement.
National Center on Sexual Exploitation
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has added Massage Envy to it’s 2019 Dirty Dozen List of contributors to sex exploitation. According to the organization, Massage Envy has mishandled sexual assault cases for years.
While the National Center on Sexual Exploitation acknowledges that Massage Envy has taken significant steps in improving its overall corporate culture, as well as the handling and reporting of any sexual assault claims, they still have a long way to go.
What is Considered Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any kind of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without consent. Sexual assault includes rape, unwanted touching either above or below clothing, incest, sexual harassment, and sexual contact with a person who is incapable of saying no due to intoxication or being unconscious.
Sexual violence may lead to serious mental disorders for the victim, including but not limited to depression and PTSD.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment and Assault
Sexual assault can have many physical, emotional and psychological effects on the victim. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, the Middletown sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. will fight hard to get you the peace of mind and justice you deserve. Our lawyers thoroughly investigate cases and will help you through the process every step of the way.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.