Addressing Sexual Abuse
Kinesiologists are not allowed to touch or speak to patients/clients in a sexual way. They are not allowed to be in a sexual relationship with a patient/client under any circumstances. When a kinesiologist does this, it is considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of a patient/client by a kinesiologist is very serious. It is an abuse of power by the kinesiologist and a breach of trust.
Kinesiologists are expected to act professionally and maintain a manner that is friendly but does not cross boundaries. You should always feel comfortable and respected by your kinesiologist.
The College works to prevent sexual abuse and will address sexual abuse immediately when reported. If you feel you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a kinesiologist, please contact us.
When dealing with concerns about sexual abuse, the College will:
- Treat you with sensitivity and respect
- Provide you with guidance and support
- Address the matter quickly and appropriately
- Hire investigators with training and experience in sexual abuse cases
- Provide you with some money for you to seek counselling for the abuse suffered
The College is committed to these principles.
Appropriate and inappropriate touching and behaviour
Often a kinesiologist may need to touch or feel different body parts or ask questions of a personal nature to fully understand your condition or injury.
When this occurs as part of assessment or treatment, the kinesiologist will:
- tell you what he or she is going to do before proceeding and ask permission
- explain the need to touch or to ask certain questions
You have the right to:
- ask the kinesiologist what they are doing and why
- stop the treatment or assessment if you feel uncomfortable
A kinesiologist must respect your right to ask questions and to refuse treatment.
If you are unsure or worried about the care you received from a kinesiologist, you can contact the Director, Professional Conduct at (416) 961-7000 ext. 104 to discuss your concerns.
Kinesiologists are responsible for maintaining an appropriate professional manner with every patient/client. When a kinesiologist does something improper, it is referred to as a boundary violation. The following are examples of behaviours that would be considered a boundary violation by a kinesiologist:
- Inviting you on a social outing
- Making suggestive comments about your appearance
- Asking questions about your personal life that are not relevant to your health and the services being provided, or disclosing personal and intimate details of his/her own life
- Offering services outside the normal operating procedures of the place of practice, such as appointments after clinic hours
Such behaviours often serve as warning signs and can lead to further, more serious boundary violations and/or sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse includes:
- Sexual intercourse or other forms of intimate physical relations between a kinesiologist and a patient/client
- Touching of a sexual nature of the patient/client by a kinesiologist
- Behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by a kinesiologist towards a patient/client
"Sexual nature" does not include touching, behaviour or remarks of a clinical nature appropriate to the services being provided.
Patients/clients who have been sexually abused may feel that they are somehow to blame, may worry about getting the practitioner into trouble, or may fear that they will not be believed. The College takes all complaints about sexual abuse seriously and you will be treated sensitively by all College staff.
Reporting sexual abuse
You, or any witnesses, are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate behaviour to the College. The Director, Professional Conduct will answer your questions or assist you in making a complaint about a kinesiologist. The Director, Professional Conduct may be reached at (416) 961-7000 ext. 104 or by email.
Funding for therapy and counselling
The College has set aside funds for victims of sexual abuse. This money is to be used to seek counselling for the abuse suffered. The Director, Professional Conduct will assist anyone in their application and guide them through the process.