A BuzzFeed News article on sexual assaults reported at various Massage Envy locations nationwide has rocketed around the Internet, leading many to express their outrage with the massage chain.
The BuzzFeed investigation, which was published on Sunday, found that more than 180 people have filed sexual assault complaints against numerous Massage Envy spas and workers. The report cited cases in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, Florida, California, and Maryland, among others.
Massage Envy representatives wouldn’t comment on individual assault cases, citing pending litigation, but said “nothing is more important to us than treating clients with respect and giving them a safe, professional experience.”
However, the BuzzFeed investigation found that the company appears to place more emphasis on protecting the Massage Envy brand, and that many franchises were ill equipped on how to handle reports of sexual assault. In some cases, BuzzFeed found, reports of assault would be swept aside by management, and the alleged perpetrator would be allowed to continue in their professional role.
There are more than 30 Massage Envy locations in Massachusetts alone, including in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and Wellesley. BuzzFeed did not specifically cite any New England locations in its report.
Several victims are speaking out after the report, and several TV morning shows — including “Good Morning America” and “Today” — featured interviews with some of the women on Monday.
“The day changed my life. Forever,” Susan Ingram, who was heavily cited in the BuzzFeed report, told ABC. “I was just totally traumatized with sadness, pain, sobbing.”
The report also led many to rail against the massage chain online.
Businesses like Massage Envy should know that when they learn that a customer is the victim of a violent crime, they should contact law enforcement immediately. If they don?t, we should hold them responsible. https://t.co/zdkFsmPRkP— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) November 26, 2017
Ladies - avoid @MassageEnvy at all costs. I have heard horror stories about employees molesting customers for years. In South Florida we have had a few criminal cases filed against Massage Envy employees. Spend a little more money and go to a reputable masseuse.— Eric Matheny (@EricMMatheny) November 26, 2017