Petition to “Stop Therapist Abuse Now” on Change.org

Today on Change.org I discovered a petition to introduce a bill in Maryland called “Lynette’s Law.” The woman who drafted the petition, Heather Sinclair, alleges that she was a victim of therapist abuse by a man who was a convicted felon. Sinclair hopes to pass a law in Maryland that would require all therapists to pass a background check before obtaining a license and would also criminalize therapist abuse in the state of Maryland.

As proposed in Sinclair’s petition, Lynette’s Law would do the following:

It would require (1) that all acquiring therapists and counselors pass a mandatory background check before they can obtain a license(s). (2) It would criminalize the act of “dual relationship,” sex abuse,” “sexual exploitation” between a therapist and their client. (3) It would allow for victims of “therapist abuse” to receive help by being able to be considered a “sexual assault victim.” They would be able to collect from the state’s victim fund, be allowed to receive services that would help with their recovery. Making therapist abuse a crime would also enable places to provide specific services to victims of therapist abuse. Victims would be able to sue the employers and the insurance companies of the therapists. (4) Making therapist abuse a crime would ensure that therapists are properly investigated and would never be allowed to practice ever again.

With the petition, Sinclair has also included a video about her experience. Having watched the video, I personally would not recommend that other victims/survivors watch it, as it may be very triggering for those who have not moved well beyond the “victim stage” in their recovery.

I am not going to make a recommendation regarding the petition. Whether you choose to sign it or not is entirely up to you, but I did want to let you know about it.

Perhaps some of you may wish to draft your own petitions on the site. If you do, please let me know!

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5 Comments

    • Therapist abuse (whether sex is involved or not) can happen to anyone of either sex and be perpetrated by a therapist of either sex. In some but not all states, sex between a therapist and patient is a crime. I imagine that “sexual assault” refers to a particular type of crime, but I don’t know what the parameters are for that.

  1. Hey,
    I just wanted to drop you a line and see how you are doing. My former therapist, Richard J. O’Meara surrendered his licenses. I was interviewed on the w4w network last Thursday and mentioned your blog as a resource for women who have been or are currently being abused by their therapist. Below is the link to my former therapists surrender. Thank you so much for posting about my petition. http://dhmh.maryland.gov/bopc/SitePages/disciplinematters.aspx
    Heather

    • Hi Heather,
      So glad to hear your ex-T surrendered his license! There’s a win!
      I hope the interview generates a lot of support for your petition. (Thanks for the plug!) Please keep us posted about your progress.
      All the best,
      Kristi

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