There is no defined tort or civil law definition of “Harassment”. The plain English definition describes harassment as being persistent and unwanted behaviour that causes humiliation and/or physical or mental harm. Society appears to be in a state of transformation. And people are no longer prepared to accept behavior that the law has deemed unacceptable for many years. A healthy understanding of legal rights is one of the best ways to promote healthy standards and intervene in deteriorating situations before serious harm is done.
When harassment is unpacked in law, it often encompasses a number of civil torts and human rights considerations and sometimes concurrent criminal prosecutions against the offender or offenders.
While not all unpleasant or unwelcome behaviour is illegal, awareness of these issues can help to establish a community where people aspire to be their best selves as opposed to tolerating improper negative interactions. Sometimes interactions are unpleasant but would not attract legal consequences. On the other end of the spectrum, harassment can be criminal.
Criminal harassment is set out in the Canadian Criminal Code through provisions dealing with assault (265), harassment (264) and threats (264.1). The following behaviour is prohibited:
a. repeatedly following someone from place to place;
b. repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, someone;
c. watching the home or workplace of someone; and
d. engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
If you feel you are being criminally harassed, it is important to consider discussing those concerns with the police.
People who have been criminally harassed also have concurrent civil rights to sue for damages in addition to possible human rights code violations. A lawsuit or human rights complaint could result in a damages award against the harasser and possible an organization that enabled them.
If you feel you are in danger, please call the police. If you would like more information about your rights and options, we are here to help. Our lawyers will listen to your experience and walk you through what legal options are available to you.
We provide personalized assistance based on your circumstances. We strive to achieve the best results possible for our clients. We listen to our clients’ needs and craft a legal strategy to help them achieve their goals.
If you have a harassment concern, Spraggs Law can help. Contact us now to explore your legal options.