When a "Happy Ending" Isn’t

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Overlea’s Elite Spa is one Baltimore County’s (several!) suspiciously dude-attracting massage parlors to be raided over the past few months. (It seems to be common knowledge that the “happy ending” offered at the end of a deep-tissue massage means something a little more below the belt, or should I say, towel.) What’s wrong with this town? More and more, spas offering the notorious “happy endings” have been popping up all over Baltimore County.

Before reading the fine print, my reaction was: Live and let live. But, of course, ick.

In the case of the Overlea Spa, and others like it nationwide, it’s more than gross, it’s gross human exploitation, as The Sun explains: “All the women were Asian immigrants who, prosecutors say, were shuttled from house to house in what is alleged to have been a multi-state prostitution network along the Eastern seaboard; some of the women apparently were unaware even what state or city they were in.” Same story reports the women were forced to have sex with numerous men per day.

Caroll Pupa, a member of the Overlea Community Association, has said that police have shut down six to eight such spa-brothels in the county in the past year. Good work. Sad stuff here!

We see it in movies—sex trafficking, prostitution, auctioning off young girls—but we don’t think about it actually happening in our world. Have you seen Taken with Liam Neeson? As a single, young female, I rethought backpacking across Europe after viewing. I applaud local efforts to put a stop to this shady problem that is bigger than we (want to) know. We need more awareness; we need tougher laws. The more people made aware of this off-the-grid, black-market lifestyle, the quicker we can put a stop to it.

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