As a massage therapist you will unfortunately be at risk for having to deal with perverts who request happy endings or use their power to make you do things you do not want to as in the case of Deshaun Watson, NFL football player gone over to the dark side.
In massage school, you will be taught skills on how to deal with this issue when it arises, but as this letter to Deshaun Watson from one of his victims shows, it is not always easy and straight forward to take action against such advances.
On the other hand, we have some bad apples in the massage profession who also are sexually assaulting clients. Massage licensing laws were created to help stop this by requiring things like background checks and fingerprinting to get a massage license, yet still many bad apples get through the system. Some are also inaccurately charged with sexual assault.
So what is the massage profession to do?
Something!! Anything!!! But the best thing as recommeded by ABMP below is to make laws that stop the use of the word massage by these businesses. Let the police and prosecutors figure out what to do with those involved in human trafficking.
On my other site, I have previosly blogged about the whole issue of Massage, Illicit Massage Businesses, Brothels disguised as massage businesses and Human Trafficking. The issue is very complex, but the main issue is that these illicit places use the word massage as a cover for whatever they are doing. The massage therapy profession across the US needs to focus on that and that only, by creating legislation that makes it so using that word is punishable with a high monetary fee and/or jail time—whatever will deter them from using the word massage.
What is ABMP’s stance on human trafficking legislation? While ABMP acknowledges that human trafficking intersects on the fringes of massage therapy, we believe licensed massage therapists alone should not shoulder the financial burden of countering these illicit businesses. Massage therapists and massage therapy regulators should not be responsible for solving the issue of human trafficking or illegal sex businesses.
Massage therapists and massage boards should work with local law enforcement, educating them about what massage therapy is and what it is not. We believe the best way to stop the illicit businesses is to revise criminal codes with jailable misdemeanors and substantial fines for owners and managers who hire nonlicensed individuals to perform “massage.”
What does ABMP think are some effective ways to counteract the issues of illicit businesses operating under the guise of massage therapy? ABMP believes in going after the owners and managers of these establishments with substantial fines—over $5,000 per infraction—if they have people who are not licensed massage therapists providing massage in the location.
In the human trafficking context, these workers are victims. They should not be charged with prostitution, unless it can be proven that they are engaged in the activity willingly. District attorneys must be willing to prosecute these cases, and police must build the cases.https://www.abmp.com/textonlymags/article.php?article=2363