Sexual AbuseComplaints and Reports

Definition of Sexual Abuse

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, sexual abuse includes:

  • sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between a dietitian and a client

  • touching of a sexual nature of a client by the dietitian

  • behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by a dietitian towards a client

  • sexualized banter

  • ​sexualized physical activities or other non-touching sexualized behaviours

​However, the law clarifies that “sexual nature” does not include touching, behaviour or remarks of a clinical nature that would be appropriate to the service provided.

Consent is irrelevant, even if a client initiates or willingly participates in the sexual activity. 

An individual remains the dietitian’s client for an entire year after the therapeutic dietitian-client relationship has ended. Having romantic or sexual relationships with a client during that time is considered sexual abuse.

There are no exceptions for spouses.

How to Make a Complaint

If you are a member of the public and wish to make a complaint that a dietitian has sexually abused you, a member of your family or someone you know, click here for more information. 

If you have more questions about the process for making a complaint or need help to file your complaint, please contact the College's Registrar & Executive Director via


All regulated health professionals, employers and facility operators must report a dietitian if they have reasonable grounds, obtained in the course of delivering or administering health services, to believe that the dietitian has sexually abused a client.

How to File a Mandatory Report of Sexual Abuse

If you are a health professional, dietitian, employer or a facility operator, click here to find how to file a mandatory report about sexual abuse of a client by a dietitian. 

Funding for Therapy and Counselling

Anyone alleging that they were sexual abused by a dietitian can apply for funding for therapy and counselling. Applications can be made at any time during the investigation process and funding is not dependent on a criminal conviction or on the Discipline Committee finding the dietitian guilty of sexual abuse. The College’s Patient Relations Committee reviews applications and determines whether the applicant is eligible for funding and how much funding to provide.  The applicants eligibility for funding is not considered as part of the investigation.

Contact the Registrar & Executive Director via for information about how to apply for funding for therapy and counselling.

Supporting Clients 

When clients disclose allegations of sexual abuse, it is important to be sensitive,  empathetic and not cause further harm. Clients should be encouraged to contact the College if they have any questions about the investigation process and resources available.

PENalties FOR sexual abuse

If the Discipline Committee of the College finds a dietitian has sexually abused a client, at minimum, the dietitian will receive a reprimand and a suspension. If the abuse involves specific sexual acts listed in the legislation (e.g., sexual intercourse), the dietitian’s registration is revoked for a minimum of five (5) years.