Definitions

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence happens in close relationships (e.g., between married or common-law couples or between family members), where one person uses any form of violence or abuse to cause fear and gain control over the other person. To be considered domestic violence, the abuse must be committed by a person who:

  • lives or did live with you as a spouse or intimate partner
  • had a family relationship with you (whether or not you ever lived together)
  • had a dating relationship with you (whether or not you ever lived together)
  • is the biological or adoptive parent of your child, regardless of marital status or if you have ever lived together

Domestic violence includes:

  • causing harm to you or your property, or using threatening actions or behaviours that cause you to fear being harmed or fear your property will be damaged
  • emotional abuse
  • forcing you to remain against your will
  • sexual abuse

Stalking

Stalking occurs when a person who has no legal reason to contact you, continues to bother you after you have said you want to be left alone. This repeated, unwanted contact can make you afraid for your personal safety. Anyone can be a stalker, and anyone can be a target of stalking.

Stalking may include:

  • following you from place to place or following your family or friends to get information about you
  • communicating directly or indirectly with you or your family or friends to get information about you
  • watching you in your home, workplace or any other place
  • threatening and intimidating behaviour or comments directed at you

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression – whether the act is physical or psychological in nature – that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent.

Sexual violence includes:

  • sexual assault
  • sexual harassment
  • indecent exposure
  • voyeurism
  • sexual exploitation