A new investigation has discovered dozens of allegations of sexual assault against Massage Envy, a popular national massage chain. The report found that over 180 women have alleged sexual assault against several of the chain’s male massage therapists. Further, Massage Envy is accused of ignoring these reports, further endangering their clients and allowing the perpetrators to go unpunished.
There are no fewer than 24 Massage Envy locations in Indiana. There are currently no known accusations against massage therapists at any of these spas, but anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at an Indiana Massage Envy is encouraged to report their experience to local police.
Massage Envy—the largest massage franchise in the United States—is the most recent corporate entity to be accused of disregarding, mishandling and concealing sexual assault allegations. The most high-profile of these corporations may be The Weinstein Company, which is accused of overlooking dozens of sexual harassment claims regarding its co-founder, movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The exposé on Weinstein has opened a floodgate of allegations of sexual abuse against private individuals, government entities, nonprofit organizations and other corporations.
Although Massage Envy claims that it holds its franchise owners and massage therapists accountable for misconduct, evidence shows that the chain actually acted to protect its staff at the expense of the victims. There are multiple instances in which clients reported sexual abuse, but Massage Envy did not report the incidents to police. This has led many people to suspect that the company cares more about its public image than it does the victims of abuse.
Indiana has several regulations for massage therapists that are meant to protect clients and deter potential crime. According to the Indiana Massage College, massage therapists in the state of Indiana must:
- Be licensed by the state to practice massage therapy
- Receive training in ethics and misconduct
- Learn about appropriate behavior, including personal appearance, topics of discussion and physical contact
- Complete 500 hours of training with a professional
- Undergo a criminal background check, including fingerprinting
- Not have been convicted of rape, sexual misconduct or prostitution