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Innlegg i Utviklingsforslag > Sex assault victims warn about home massage dangers

  • Gee Mong
    tirsdag 12 juli 2022 klokken 12.27

    Sex assault victims warn about home massage dangers

    At-home massages have become more popular, but the BBC has heard from dozens of women who have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists in their own homes. Experts are now calling for the government to introduce stricter regulation in a sector that has little oversight.

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    Warning: Some of the content in this story may be distressing.

    Callum Urquhart advertised his at-home massage services on social media, which is where Yas - not her real name - booked him. She says her massage started off professionally, with Urquhart asking for her consent before massaging certain areas of her body. But he quickly went on to sexually assault her.

    "I think in that situation, you can't quite believe that it's happening and there's one side of your brain telling you to not overreact," she told the BBC. "But he started being quite rough - it was very apparent by that point what was happening. I didn't know whether he was going to rape me, [or] kill me. I just didn't know."

    After reporting what happened to the police, Yas learnt that Urquhart held no qualifications in massage therapy and had never undertaken any form of training. Even after he had been arrested and was being investigated by the police for sexual assault, the BBC found he was able to continue massaging - and sexually assaulting clients.

    Last year, Urquhart was jailed for sexually assaulting four female clients in Bristol. Yas says she was "heartbroken" there was nothing to stop Urquhart from practicing and assaulting other women. She believes change is needed: "If there were regulations I imagine he would have been under investigation or struck off.

    "There would have been some repercussions to his actions," she added. "One of the reasons for me reporting it was to ensure that it didn't happen to anybody else."


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