A massage therapist recently contacted us offering a few words to the wise. In 2009 she leased a space in Macomb County, Michigan to set up her practice. After making improvements to the space, branding the business and advertising her services, she began to notice a disturbing trend. Men calling to make appointments were asking about her physical attributes. After a man disrobed in front of her and referred to sexual services he’d received at the same location in the past, she knew something was very wrong.
Apparently the landlord, the real estate agent and the neighbors all knew the space had been used for sex trafficking, but no one told her until it was too late. She ended up closing her doors after just four months and lost her security deposit and business startup expenses totaling $13,000. Her advice to massage therapists everywhere is to do a thorough search of previous tenants of a space before signing a lease, and demand information from the municipality via the Freedom of Information Act if necessary.
Sex trafficking is very damaging to its victims, communities and the massage industry. Download the pdf under “What You Can Do” to see how you can help expose and eliminate trafficking in your area.