Violence in the massage parlor industry: experiences of Canadian-born and immigrant women

Health Care Women Int. 2012;33(3):262-84. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2011.603868.


We examined and contrasted 129 Canadian-born and immigrant women's experiences of violence and associated structural and interpersonal factors within indoor commercial sex venues. The majority experienced at least one form of structural, interpersonal, or both types of violence, with the attempted removal of a condom during sexual services being cited most frequently. Canadian-born women reported more frequent violent assaults in the survey data. The women's qualitative narratives illustrated that perceptions of violence differed significantly among Canadian versus non-Canadian born women. Findings concerning racialization and gendered relations of power have important implications for prevention and interventions to support victims of abuse.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Massage*
  • Perception
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Violence* / ethnology
  • Young Adult