Empty massage table in dim room (symbolic of Massage Envy's abandonment of customer safety)
October 29, 2019

Massage Envy is Still Prioritizing Corporate Interests Over Customer Safety

A college student who just had a stressful week of midterms. A stay-at-home mother who had a long day with her sick children. A working professional who had a rough afternoon at work. I know these sorts of people. I am one of these sorts of people. These are just a few examples of people who might turn to Massage Envy’s services for a moment of relaxation. 

However, the disheartening fact is that Massage Envy has proved themselves to be an unreliable source of relief for many. 

Massage Envy claims, “We help people feel their best . . . we’re here for you [our customer] every day of the week, morning and night . . . we strive to earn and to keep the trust of those we serve by delivering exceptional and memorable service.

After hundreds of women have come forth with allegations of sexual assault at the hands of Massage Envy employees, though, is this claim credible? After Massage Envy has tried to silence these victims and failed to investigate and terminate the assaulters, do we have any reason to believe them? After Massage Envy has updated policies that prioritize corporate interests above customer safety, does this claim hold any water?

A customer may spend an hour in a Massage Envy. And, out of the thousands of customers who pass through, perhaps the rate of those who are sexually assaulted might be considered “low” by some. But we cannot downplay the real and lived experiences of victims. What was supposed to be an hour of relief has instead become a lifetime of trauma for many who continue to bravely share their stories.

When people are placing their bodies in the hands of a doctor, a dentist, or a masseuse, they are putting trust in them. The nature of a massage, where individuals are more vulnerable and trusting than usual–nearly undressed, alone, and expecting relaxation–contributes to immense trauma when that trust is broken by sexual harm.

Is Massage Envy there “every day of the week, morning and night” helping these victims? That’s what it takes, and that’s what they are failing to give in the times it matters most.

To Massage Envy we say: 

Please “seek to understand the needs” of those who are assaulted by the hands of your employees. They need policies that are more than mere damage control. They need you to take corporate responsibility regarding sexual exploitation. They need policies that protect customer safety above corporate interest in cases of sexual harassment and assault. They need belief in their stories and a promise that those who hurt them will no longer be able to hurt others. They need further action that truly promotes safety and transparency.

Until Massage Envy can deliver these greater changes and gain back the trust of clients, they remain a dangerous place for female clientele.

Companies like Massage Envy who claim to help customers relax and feel safe have a social responsibility to their clients, employees, and to the public to actively oppose and curb sexual violence against women—especially on their own tables.

To take action and put pressure on Massage Envy to make further changes, visit the Dirty Dozen List and then tweet @MassageEnvy, sign our petition, and/or submit your own story.

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Aubrey Pound

Executive Assistant

Aubrey Pound is an executive assistant at NCOSE. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a minor in Family Life from Brigham Young University. Her overarching goal in life is to do good in any way possible. Aubrey is passionate about protecting vulnerable populations, especially women and children, by bringing visibility to the struggles they unequally face in areas such as sexual exploitation. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

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