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 and a breach of trust by the kinesiologist.
Kinesiologists are expected to act professionally and maintain a manner that is friendly but does not cross boundaries. You should always feel comfortable, safe and respected by your kinesiologist.
The College works to prevent sexual abuse and will address sexual abuse with extreme sensitivity to the complainant when reported. If you feel you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a kinesiologist, please contact the College via email or at (416) 961-7000 ext. 100.
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.
- Maintain a fund that can be used to pay for therapy or counselling related to the abuse suffered.
The College is committed to these principles.
What is sexual abuse?
In the context of healthcare, sexual abuse includes:
- Sexual intercourse or other forms of intimate physical and sexual 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 abuse does not include touching, behaviour or remarks that are clinically necessary and appropriate to the treatment you are receiving and done only after receiving informed consent.
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 touching of any kind is required as part of assessment or treatment, the kinesiologist must always ask for consent. The kinesiologist should:
- tell you what they are 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.
- ask to have another individual in the room during an assessment/examination.
- stop the treatment or assessment if you feel uncomfortable at any time and the kinesiologist must stop.
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 College via email or at (416) 961-7000 ext. 100 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 a boundary violation. The following are examples of behaviours that are considered boundary violations by a kinesiologist:
- Inviting you on a social outing.
- Making suggestive comments about your appearance.
- Asking intimate questions about your personal life that are not relevant to your health and the services being provided or disclosing personal and intimate details of their own life.
- Offering services outside the normal operating procedures of the place of practice, or outside the context of the therapeutic relationship.
- Following and interacting with you on social media from a personal account.
- Emailing, calling, or texting you for matters not related to the treatment or services being provided.
Such behaviours often serve as warning signs and can lead to further, more serious boundary violations and/or sexual abuse.
Reporting sexual abuse
Patients/clients who have been sexually abused may feel that they are somehow to blame, may worry about getting the kinesiologist in trouble, or may fear they will not be believed. The College takes all complaints about sexual abuse seriously and you will be treated with sensitivity by College staff.
You, or any witnesses, are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate behaviour to the College. You can contact the College via email or at (416) 961-7000 ext. 100.
Funding for therapy and counselling
The College has set aside funds for victims of sexual abuse. This money is to allow patients/clients to seek therapy or counselling for the abuse suffered. The College will assist anyone in their application and guide them through the process. View FAQs on funding for therapy and counselling.
Applications for funding: