Supports for patients or persons who experienced sexual abuse

We’re here to support you. 

Click on the headings below to learn more about our supports for patients or persons who experienced sexual abuse.

You may have questions about:

  • Whether you should make a complaint
  • the investigation process
  • how we use your personal information
  • whether what happened to you is sexual abuse

We have a confidential support person who can help you. Dr. Ruth Gallop is not an employee of the College, so any contact you have is confidential and is not shared with the College. Dr. Gallop is a regulated health professional. Dr. Gallop is not a dentist. She is a recognized expert in the area of sexual abuse and boundary violations with over 25 years of experience working with regulatory colleges like the RCDSO.

Dr. Gallop is an expert on sexual abuse and the College’s investigations and discipline processes. Dr. Gallop’s role is to help you:

  • as you consider whether to make a complaint
  • whether you wish to provide information to the College
  • understand the investigations process and deal with any stresses you experience during the investigation
  • understand what happens if your complaint against the dentist is referred to discipline

This support service is free.

Dr. Gallop does not provide counselling or therapy but does provide a supportive setting to assist you in making decisions and working through the process.

For information about how to access this service, please contact: Gillian Slaughter at gslaughter@rcdso.org and 416-961-6555/1-800-565-4591. 

We provide funding for therapy and counseling to patients that allege sexual abuse by a dentist. You may be eligible if:

  • you made a complaint to the College that you were sexually abused by a dentist.
  • the College received a report (such as by a regulated health professional), that you were sexually abused by a dentist.

To apply for funding, please complete the request form and send it to us.

Who can be the therapist?

You can see a psychotherapist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a counsellor, or any other therapist you choose. There are only two restrictions about who can be your therapist:

  • They must not be a member of your family
  • They cannot have been found by a civil court to have sexually abused someone. They cannot have been found guilty by a criminal court to have committed any form of a sexual offense. They must not have been found to have committed professional misconduct of a sexual nature by a College or a Tribunal

How much funding is available?

If you are approved for funding, the maximum amount is what the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) would pay for 200 half-hour sessions of individual outpatient psychotherapy with a psychiatrist on the day you become eligible. This information is in the Ministry of Health’s Schedule of Benefits under code K198. In 2022, the amount available is $86.85 x 200 sessions.

We offer legal support for people who may be witnesses and asked to give evidence at a hearing. 

If your complaint about sexual abuse is referred to the Discipline Committee, the College will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the College will have to prove its case against the dentist. You may be asked to be a witness.

The College’s lawyer, called a prosecutor, will explain:

  • role of a witness (i.e., to give information or evidence at a hearing)
  • the hearing process and
  • what the College will do to prove its case

The prosecutor cannot give you legal advice.  

The College offers independent legal advice for people who are asked to be a witness at a hearing. Independent legal advice is available to help you with the following:

  • requests at the hearing for your personal health information;
  • your information that may be restricted by a prior agreement;
  • other legal issues that relate to your testimony, evidence, or other information

You can retain any lawyer on the roster of lawyers approved by the College. The lawyers have expertise in College investigations and hearings. 

The maximum funding available for independent legal advice is $1,000.00 per person. 

You can apply here.