Mandatory reporting of sexual abuse

Zero tolerance for sexual abuse of patients by regulated health professionals.

All regulated health professionals and facility operators must report Registered Dietitians and any other regulated health professional if they have reasonable grounds, obtained in the course of delivering or administering health services, to believe that a health professional has sexually abused a patient.

When dealing with revelations of sexual abuse of clients , it is important to manage the clients sensitively and not cause further harm.  In the event that a Registered Dietitian has sexually abuses a patient or client, the College of Dietitians of Ontario has funding available for client for counselling and therapy.

A broad Definition of Sexual Abuse

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, sexual abuse is defined as:

  • sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between a member and a client
  • touching of a sexual nature of a client by the member
  • behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by a member towards a client
Under this definition, sexual abuse includes sexualized banter, sexualized physical activities or other non-touching sexualized behaviours.

The Report must be made within 30 days

A report of sexual abuse be made within 30 days unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that additional abuse may occur, in which case the report must be made immediately. It  must contain the following:

  • The name of the person filing the report;
  • The name of the Registered Dietitian or other health professional who is the subject of the report;
  • An explanation of the alleged sexual abuse; and
  • The name of the patient (with written consent) if the sexual abuse is particular to him or her.  A report of sexual abuse cannot include the identity of the client unless the client gives written consent to including his or her name.
For More Information or Assistance

Contact the Registrar & Executive Director of the College at 
416-598-1725 / 1-800-668-4990, ext. 228