In Canada, if you are responsible for someone’s fear or unease, you are most likely getting at least a warning for it. It can be possible to call or text or stalk, following in the streets, etc. In the Canadian criminal code, there is not any case named criminal harassment. It is called troubled, worried, or badgered instead of harassed.
If you are bothered by someone, and it is the reason for your unease, you should raise your voice for justice. Here is some information, tips, and guidelines to help you in times of your emergency research.
Criminal Harassment Charges: The Complete Guide
Criminal harassment can be pretty serious in both mental and physical matter. Remember one thing very clear- harassment hence stalking or forcibly getting into a relationship is not a sign of love; it is a crime that will end with serious punishment and defamation.
What is criminal harassment?
According to the Canadian criminal code, it is an offense. It can be started with simple unwanted texting or calling to stalking, following in the streets, getting unwanted attention in the workplace from certain co-workers, threatening to harm someone or their family members- all these deeds are included in harassment offense.
According to Canada’s criminal code, when a person without lawful duty forces their ‘right’ to control or intimidate you and under these circumstances, if the other person becomes fearful and uncomfortable with that action are accustomed to criminal harassment.
Their punishment for this offense can be a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment, fine, issuing restraining orders, etc.
What are the examples of types of harassment?
- Repeatedly contacting someone directly or indirectly without their consent via phone, mobile, email, or social media.
- Following someone, stalking them from workplace to home, in the streets
- Threatening someone or their dearest ones.
- Unwanted mails or stealing them
- Giving unwanted gifts
- Show up in certain places without any invitation
- Vandalizing property such as a car, home, lawn, etc.
- Harming or kidnapping pet
- Threatening or kidnapping
- Sexual assault
- Physical abuse etc.
And in no time, the victim will mentally be broken. They will face anxiety, fear, alienation, confusion, isolation, powerlessness, hopelessness, anger, depression, detachment, lack of control, diminished personal safety, loss of confidence, resentment, lowered sense of self-worth, etc.
Sometimes even after the events of horror gone, but the victims fall into PTSD and need clinical therapy.
What is the punishment for harassment in Canada?
If you are proven guilty of criminal harassment offense in the trial, then the judges will convict you for the offense. According to the severity of your job, the duration of imprisonment can go up to 10 years. Sometimes with imprisonment, you will be fined for the loss of property if vandalism is involved.
You can also get a restriction order. By this, you will not be able to leave the states without the permission of the authority. You will not be able to use or keep any firearm even if you have a licensed one.
So, you see, your general life will be hampered, and your reputation will be gone. In some states, if you are involved in a sexual assault case and you were convicted, it will be mentioned in your identity card with the date and time. So, even if you try to start a new life, this aftermath of your deeds will haunt you for the rest of your life.
Can you press charges for someone harassing you?
Yes, if you have enough evidence of that person harassing you, you can press against that person. It can be screenshots of the email, texts, call recordings, etc. If the proof is enough, the police will press charges against the person.
Sometimes the police do not press charges against them. Don’t worry. They will help you. Probably, the evidence was not enough to press charges. Lawyers are experienced in that field; they will know when to press charges and when to leave them with a warning or a peace bond or a restraining order or something like that.
How to prove harassment in court?
Now, after pressing charges, the authority will try to amend things with an informal meeting with the lawyers in a meeting. In that meeting, if everything sorts out from both of the parties, then the case will be closed.
But, if the case is still unresolved even after the meeting, then the case will go to trial. In the trial, you need to hire a professional and experienced lawyer, gather enough evidence, etc., to get justice.
After the charges are laid, the Crown Prosecutor will review your case. If he thinks that the case is worth going to trial, the case will go to court. There, you will be asked to be present as a witness and testify in court. Ask help from the victim service workers. They will help you get through the case.
What can you do to ensure your safety?
- Talk to your family or friends about the harassment. Sharing with someone will release your anxiety and stress. They will help you in case you need to go to trial.
- If you needed, you could scratch your address from public views.
- Do not share everything on social media. Sometimes they stalk you and goes to your current place according to your check-ins on Facebook.
- Use your right to ask the telephone company and the security matter and blocking procedures.
- Do a home security check. Install an alarm system in case someone tries to trespass into your property to hurt you.
- Have an emergency exit plan, pack your bags, and everything. Tell your family about the plan and its seriousness.
- If you feel someone is following you, change routes constantly and continuously honk so that they get scared to come closer to you. Always take public transport and a busy road if the matter is too serious.
- Once in a while, choose a different route for going home from the workplace.
- There can be peace bonds, restraining orders, etc. But sometimes, not everyone follows the authority’s instructions. In that situation, the police will arrest them and take to their custody.
- Always have information about your case. If you feel it is going too slow, ask for help from the help box. Talk to the crown prosecutor in serious moments.
You should inform you about this kind of incident firstly your family and then to the police in the early stage. If you wait till something serious happens, the harm can be pretty serious. If you know any of your relatives or friends are facing this problem, help them do the right thing. Inform the police and secure the safety. Nothing will get better if you do not take action.
Moreover, the other person will think you are giving him a chance, and you are weak. So, strike their confidence before building up. Take early precautions.