Being the Victim of a Crime Without Knowing It: The Dangers of Conversion Therapy

In the News

What does conversion therapy look like?

Conversion therapy can take many forms. For example, it can be presented as a medical treatment, a psychological service, or a spiritual or religious practice. This means that it can happen in different settings, including the health care system, religious communities, or even self-help groups.

Many health professional organizations have spoken out against conversion therapy. These organizations emphasize that it can seriously harm the people who experience it.

Who can be accused of a crime?

It’s important to know that someone who goes through conversion therapy isn’t committing a crime. This person is considered to be the victim of a crime, even if they seek out conversion therapy of their own free will.

It’s a crime to cause someone else to go through conversion therapy. It’s also a crime to

  • cause someone under 18 to go through conversion therapy in another country,
  • advertise or promote conversion therapy, or
  • profit from conversion therapy, financially or otherwise.

If someone is found guilty of one of these crimes, they could be sentenced to pay a fine or go to prison.

There are different ways to get help

Victims of conversion therapy can report a crime to the police.

They can also ask for financial compensation. Victims of conversion therapy can sue the person who harmed them in civil court. Or they can apply to the government program IVAC (Indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels or crime victim compensation).

To find out more about victims’ different rights and options, read our full-length article about conversion therapy.