Many depend on massage therapy services not only for relaxation and enjoyment but also for muscular rehabilitation. Massage therapy involves an element of trust, since services are often given by a stranger. Unfortunately, this vulnerability makes it incredibly easy for perpetrators to commit their crimes. What happens when a place meant for peace and relaxation turns into something else, something you didn’t ask for?
If you have been violated, molested or experienced unwelcome or inappropriate touching during a massage, you might feel alone and unsure about what to do. Sexual assault attorney Jessica Pride has helped numerous victims just like you reclaim their lives and get the justice they deserve. Contact us today at (619) 516-8166. We offer free, private and anonymous consultations.
Molested During A Massage
It is common for sexual assault victims to feel as if they did something wrong or somehow invited the assault. But no one asks to be molested and it is never your fault. You should feel comfortable at all times during a massage and never confused about the professional boundaries during your session. It is the responsibility of your massage therapist to communicate with you to ensure your comfort level at all times. If at any time during your massage you feel uncomfortable, remember to speak up. Your massage therapist should not continue any behavior that causes you to feel alarmed, hurt or violated. If you feel professional trust has been broken during a massage, speak to a sexual assault attorney to discuss your legal options.
Types of Massages
There are many types of therapeutic massage available, all utilizing various techniques. It’s important to understand what to expect from the services you request to know the benefits as well as be aware of any negative sensations you might experience in advance. Identifying the type of massage you received will also be helpful when speaking to an attorney about your potential case.
Common types of massages available at spas and physical therapy centers include:
Swedish style massage uses long, gliding strokes, friction, rubbing muscles and kneading to promote relaxation, reduce blood pressure and increase circulation.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage involves strong pressure to reach the deeper layers of muscle tissue. The goal of this massage is to reduce stress and hormone levels, and lower the heart rate while boosting mood and relaxation.
Sports massages are designed for athletes and physically active individuals. This type of massage is uniquely geared toward the client’s sport of choice. The massage focuses on areas of the body that are overused during activity to alleviate sore muscles.
Trigger Point Massage
This type of massage pinpoints trigger points, or tender spots, often isolated within a group of muscles that can cause shooting pain. Trigger point therapy can cause temporary relief from pain and help correct and balance posture in the long-term.
Asking questions about what you can expect from the session before it begins can help you understand when a massage therapist is crossing a personal boundary.
Understanding Consent & Violation
Part of getting a massage involves informed consent. This means you must agree to the treatment voluntarily without being coerced through fraud, force or deceit. Although you may give consent at the start or during your treatment, consent is dynamic and at any time you have the right to change your mind. At the same time, if you give your consent during one treatment, this does not mean you have given the same consent for a subsequent treatment. If you do not consent to a certain treatment, your massage therapist should offer an alternative to meet your needs.
Consent is dynamic and at any time, you have the right to change your mind.
When a massage therapist inappropriately touches a client, it is a criminal offense. A therapeutic massage should never involve touching of genitals. When this happens, it is considered either sexual abuse or prostitution. A massage therapist should not even work areas a few inches away from the genital area.
You have a right to be informed about what will be taking place during a massage. When it comes to the client-therapist relationship, the client should always determine what the session consists of. If you are ever uncertain or uncomfortable during your session, tell your massage therapist that you wish to stop your therapy. Speak up and be direct.
If You Were Sexually Assaulted by a Massage Therapist
Sexual assault can happen to anyone, at any place or time. However, when it takes place when the victim is in a vulnerable or unfamiliar position, the events can be confusing. Keep in mind that if it feels wrong, it probably is. It is easy to dismiss discomfort as normal or part of the therapy, but you should listen to your instincts and know when someone is overstepping your boundaries.
If it feels wrong, it probably is.
Steps to take if you feel violated during a massage
1. Stop the session and cease the massage
You should never feel violated during a massage. Do not hesitate to clearly and directly ask the massage therapist to stop as soon as you feel uncomfortable.
2. Contact local law enforcement
Contact police as soon as possible after a sexual attack. Describe to them exactly what happened and be sure to include all details, as they will later be used as evidence.
3. Contact a medical professional
Visit your physician for an examination following a sexual assault incident, even if you do not believe you were injured. It is important to seek medical help right away to begin coping with the physical and mental effects of sexual abuse. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may recommend that you visit an emergency room as most physicians do not carry the appropriate evidence kits needed in cases of sexual assault.
4. Seek legal advice
Once the proper reports are filed, speak to an experienced sexual assault attorney to determine your legal options.
Taking Legal Action After Sexual Assault
If you were sexually assaulted, you have the option of taking the matter to civil court. Depending on the circumstances of your incident, you can expect to hold the perpetrator liable for numerous crimes. The lawyers at Jessica Pride can help you determine if your case meets the criteria for:
If you were assaulted, you were not physically harmed, but rather were threatened by an attempt of harm, or feared you would come to harm. Sexual assault may involve verbal sexual harassment or an attempt at sexual molestation.
Sexual battery involves actual unwanted touching in a sexual manner. This may involve inappropriate touching, rape or coercion of sexual acts to someone against their will or to someone not capable of consent.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
This involves conduct by the perpetrator that caused so much mental anguish that the victim suffered severe emotional trauma as a result. To establish intentional infliction of emotional distress, the incident must be so heinous that society as a whole finds the act reprehensible.
As a woman herself, Jessica understands the heartbreak and emotional ramifications of sexual assault. She is not only a legal advocate who fights passionately on behalf of her clients, she is a trusted friend and confidant. If you have been abused at the hands of a massage therapist or any sexual perpetrator, we are with you and for you. Please contact Jessica Pride today at (619) 516-8166 to receive a private consultation. We answer questions anonymously and free of charge and hold all information in the strictest of confidence.