Criminal harassment - commonly known as stalking - is a crime.
You should seek help if you are afraid or concerned because someone is repeatedly:
- contacting you by phone, email, notes or in person,
- following you,
- lying in wait for you,
- sending you unwanted gifts,
- watching your home, school or workplace,
- not taking "no" for an answer,
- contacting your friends, family or colleagues to talk about you, or
- behaving in ways that you find unsettling.
Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe you probably are. Even if the stalker is not intending to scare you, if you are afraid for your safety, these repeated behaviours likely count as criminal harassment.
You can contact Victim Services to learn more about criminal harassment and to talk about what you might do.
What to do if you are being stalked
- If you are in immediate danger, call the RCMP
- Take threats seriously.
- Consider going to a transition home with your children to be safe.
- Make a safety plan . Do things like change your routine, arrange a safe place to stay, have a friend be with you, tell people how they can help you.
- Do not communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you. Let an answering machine or voice mail screen your calls.
- Keep all evidence. Write down the time, date, place and circumstances of each event or contact. Keep emails, notes and phone messages.
- Photograph anything the stalker damages and any injuries they caused. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw too.
- Contact the police. Stalking and harassing are against the law, and can be prosecuted in court.
- Ask about Protective Court Orders such as a Peace Bond.
- Tell family & friends and seek their support.
- Contact Victim Services to get information and support.
Stalking is about power and abuse.
Criminal harassment is usually committed by someone whom you know. Often it is someone you have been close to.
Stalking frequently occurs during a breakup or divorce (but people you don’t know well can also be stalkers).
Maybe you feel the person will stop or you can deal with it so you don’t report it. But stalking may be an advance warning of the possibility of future violent acts. Trust your instincts and get help.
For more information