20-Year Review of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Compliance & Discipline, Research,

From the Abstract:

"While there is a considerable body of literature on sexual aggression, we know much less about the violation of sexual boundaries within professional relationships. To address this knowledge gap, the characteristics of cases of sexual misconduct in the province of Quebec were extracted, based on a search of published disciplinary decisions between 1998 and 2020, using the legal databases CANLII and SOQUIJ. The search yielded 296 decisions including 249 male and 47 female members from 22 professional orders, and involving 470 victims. Results indicate that male professionals approaching mid-career accounted for a greater proportion of cases of sexual misconduct. Moreover, physical and mental health professionals were overrepresented in cases, as were female adult victims. Acts of sexual misconduct concerned mostly sexual touching and intercourse and occurred during consultations. Female professionals were more inclined to establish romantic and sexual relationships with clients than their male counterparts. Of the 92.0% of professionals found guilty of at least one count of sexual misconduct, two thirds eventually returned to practice. Following the guilty verdict, few faced rehabilitative measures. Recommendations are provided for the prevention of sexual recidivism and the accompaniment of victims of sexual misconduct throughout the disciplinary process."

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