It was first published in 1999 and updated in 2004.
The development of these guidelines was prompted by the findings and recommendations of the 1996 Department of Justice Canada review of the criminal harassment provisions in the Criminal Code.
However, the offence is not restricted to domestic violence and applies equally to all victims of criminal harassment.
Section 264 was amended, effective May 1997, to make the commission of an offence of criminal harassment in violation of a protective court order an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes, and effective July 23, 2002, to double the maximum sentence for the offence of criminal harassment to 10 years’ imprisonment for an indictable offence.
Indeed, in a very real sense, the relationship is the violence; perpetrators attempt to establish or maintain a relationship—whether amorous or angry—against the victims’ wishes.
No single psychological profile exists for stalkers.
It is difficult to assess, however, whether the rise is due to an increase in the number of criminal harassment incidents, increased reporting by victims, or a change in the way police respond to and record such incidents.
Given that over half of the people who are criminally harassed do not report this crime to police,) on Victimization provides self-reported data on criminal victimization.264(1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened (5) Where the court is satisfied of the existence of an aggravating factor referred to in subsection (4), but decides not to give effect to it for sentencing purposes, the court shall give reasons for its decision.The potential severity of stalking should not be underestimated.The psychological impact on the victim alone can be debilitating and life-altering.Also effective in May 1997, murder committed in the course of criminally harassing the victim, was added to the list of conduct in section 231 classified as first degree murder, irrespective of whether it was planned and deliberate.