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Sexual assault in a health care setting

In 2006, someone who had been sexually assaulted by a healthcare professional contacted the AQPV to report the many obstacles they encountered once they made the decision to file a complaint.

A few months after receiving this letter and after much research and interviews, the AQPV launched its Sensibilisation, information et formation à la problématique des agressions sexuelles commises par des professionnels de la santé [project to raise awareness and provide information and training on the issue of sexual assault committed by health care professionals].

Project objectives

  • Inform the general public, and especially people working in various fields of health care, about problems related to sexual misconduct and assault committed by health care professionals.
  • Inform victims of sexual misconduct and assault during a consultation with a therapist of their rights, possible forms of recourse, resources, etc.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills of professionals who work with victims of therapists.

Infomation tools

The objective of these documents is to raise public awareness of this problem and help victims to identify and recognize what they experienced (or are experiencing) as assault. The documents also describe warning signs, debunk myths about victims of this type of sexual assault and present the forms of recourse available to them.

Couverture guide Sexual involvment between professionals and clients

Guide – Sexual Involvement Between a Health Care Professional and a Client

Pamphlet – Sexual Involvement Between a Health Care Professional and a Client

Awareness-raising and training activities

  • Presentation by Gary R. Schoener on The Ultimate Betrayal during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week (2007)
  • Public launch of the guide and pamphlet on Sexual involvement between a health care professional and a client: An inappropriate behaviour, a sexual assault and a crime  as well as the presentation of a play by the theatre troupe Mise au jeu illustrating the difficulties that victims and those close to them can experience (2008)
  • Development and offer of training session on Le rapprochement sexuel thérapeute/patient: comment aider les victimes? by Marie Valiquette, Ph.D. in psychology and consultant in problem situations related to crossing relationship boundaries (2008)
  • Presentation of project results at several different events:
    • Colloque Deux Mille – À l’ombre des gestes, Magog, May 2008.
    • Forum on sexual assault organized by the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie, Saint-Hyacinthe, October 2008.
    • 2nd conference of designated centres in Québec, Québec City, November 2008.
    • 5th international francophone conference on sexual assault – Transformations et paradoxes, Montréal, May 2009.
    • 34th conference of the Société de criminologie du QuébecUne justice sur mesure dans un monde complexe : regard sur des projets prometteurs, Saint-Sauveur, May 2009.
    • Forum on violence Le carrefour des pratiques organized by the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec, Trois-Rivières, June 2009.

Research activities

Authors: Manon Bergeron, Mariève Talbot-Savignac and Martine Hébert in cooperation with AQPV

Rapport de recherche ARUC

The objectives of this study were as follows:

  1. Identify the inclusion or non-inclusion by professional orders of health care professionals of Section 59.1 of the Professional Code in their Code of Ethics.
  2. Create a quantitative portrait of complaints of sexual misconduct that were submitted and processed by the disciplinary boards of professional orders during the past five years.
  3. Document the existence of “educational practices” that could include different ways of providing information and raising awareness within the professional orders in question.

Author: Julie Lassonde, lawyer

Rapport de recherche - Rapprochements sexuels

The objective of this study was to identify, in Québec, the possibilities and limitations of existing models of recourse for victims of sexual misconduct or assault by a health professional, and to identify existing preventive and educational practices aimed at raising the awareness of professionals and the general public.