Any abuse is harmful but many kinds of abuse are also against the law - they are crimes and the police can lay charges. Assault is the most common charge but criminal harassment (stalking) is another important charge to know about.
If your partner or ex-partner does any of the things listed below, it‘s assault and a crime:
- Hits you or physically hurts you
- Threatens to hit you or physically hurt you and you believe your partner can do it
- Forces you into any sexual activity
Criminal Harassment (Stalking)
Criminal harassment is a pattern of threats, actions, and unwanted attention that makes you afraid for your safety or the safety of your loved ones. It may make you feel you can't do what you like, or go where you'd like to go.
If anyone, especially an ex-partner, does any of the things listed below and makes you afraid for your safety, or the safety of your children or pets, it's criminal harassment (stalking) and is a crime. Some examples are:
- Contacting you over and over again (for example: at work or at home in the middle of the night)
- Making indecent phone calls to you, or calling you repeatedly then hanging up without speaking
- Following or watching you or other family members (for example: parking outside your house)
- Sending gifts you don't want
- Threatening you, other family members, or friends
- Threatening to destroy property or harm your pets
- Doing anything else that is threatening and makes you afraid your partner will harm you
If any of the things described above are happening to you, call the police right away. Also, to help the police with your case, keep a written record of every incident, including what happened, the date, the time, and where it happened. Assault and criminal harassment are against the law. You have the right to protection.
Your partner is guilty of uttering threats if he/she says -- or communicates to you in another way - that any of the following will happen:
- Kill or hurt anyone
- Burn, destroy or damage property
- Kill, poison or hurt a pet
Disobeying Orders of the Court
If your partner doesn't obey the orders the Court puts in place - unless it involves a payment of money -the accused may be charged with a criminal offence and if found guilty will likely be punished by jail time or a fine.