In communities across WA State, Illicit Massage Businesses are using the good name of massage and massage therapists to provide their prostitution services. Illicit Massage Business (IMB) is a term created by the Polaris Project.
Polaris created the term “illicit massage business” to describe a very specific type of exploitative, organized, commercial-front trafficking venue that we saw implicated over and over in cases reported to the Hotline. The term does not encompass legal, therapeutic massage businesses, nor does it include consensual sex work that may incorporate massage.
Polaris Project: Human Trafficking in Illicit Massage Businesses (PDF)
Polaris Project: The Typology of Modern Slavery. (PDF) Defining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United State
Human Trafficking Task Force Report (PDF) FEDERATION OF STATE MASSAGE THERAPY BOARDS •2017
The five-part series, The Business of Illicit Massage, was reported by Phillip Martin and Jenifer B. McKim and edited by Aaron Schachter for 89.7 WGBH.