Business owner encourages victims to use their voice

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:01 PM CDT
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Massage therapy is intended to be a relaxing and stress-free experience, a place without the worry of unwanted attention or touch.

For business owner Jennifer Woodside, delivering a safe environment is her main concern.

“My job as a massage therapist is to help the client feel safe and feel relaxed,” said Woodside.

When you show up to that stress-free appointment make sure you are comfortable with the person who will be conducting the massage.

Woodside said to go with your gut. If you feel something is off, get out of there.

“Let it resonate with you,” Woodside said. “‘Do I feel safe here? Do I feel like I can chill, or I can relax?”

She understands that mistakes can happen, but when it becomes more than that, you must remember that you have a voice.

“They [the customers] will just lie on that table, and they will let it happen and some inappropriate grazing and touching in places he should not have touched,” said Woodside.

Reporting sexual crimes is often a very difficult process.

The Arkansas Massage Board takes these complaints very seriously. In most cases, the accused person could have their license pulled, but the board cannot act unless a report is filed.

“And we hear about it, we see clients suffer from it, but then it continues because no one has reported it,” said Woodside.

If there was one thing Jennifer Woodside stressed, it was to come forward, so it does not happen to someone else.