Sexual Violence

Commonly referred to as stalking, criminal harassment is defined as repeatedly following a person, or repeatedly communicating with a person, in a way that could have that person fearing for his or her safety or someone else’s. Offences commonly associated with criminal harassment include uttering threats, threatening or harassing phone calls, common assault and mischief (Statistics Canada). 

Criminal harassment is a direct attempt at a person’s dignity and security, including physical and psychological integrity.

What are the legal consequences of criminal harassment?

Criminal harassment is an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years according to section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada.: 

  • (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
    (2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of:
    1. a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
      b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
      c) besetting or watching the dwelling house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
      d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family. 
    (3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of:
    1. a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
      b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

A conviction according to the Law or under the Criminal Code can affect a person’s right to practise a trade or profession.