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It is CNO’s role to respond to complaints and reports of sexual abuse by nurses[i]. We investigate each allegation of sexual abuse with a commitment to provide sensitive and respectful support to victims involved in our processes. We created the Sexual Abuse of Patients web page to provide more information on what to do if you or a family member has experienced sexual abuse by a nurse.

To enhance public safety, we continue to look for ways to improve how prevent and respond to incidences of patient sexual abuse. In 2019, we completed a research study to better understand what contributes to nurses sexually abusing patients. We are using the findings from our research to develop interventions to prevent nurses from sexually abusing patients. For example, we learned there is often a progression of behaviours before sexual abuse happens. Stopping those behaviours can prevent sexual abuse.

We chose to do this work because we believe that even one case of sexual abuse is one too many. If we can understand more about what leads to patient sexual abuse, we can do more to prevent it.

We look forward to working with our partners in safety, including nurses, educators, employers and other regulators to eradicate sexual abuse.


[i] A complaint is often received from a patient or family member. A report is often from an employer or another health care provider.




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Page last reviewed March 06, 2020