Is Stalking the Same Thing As Harassment?

August 30th, 2021


What the public generally calls “stalking” is a type of criminal harassment. Harassment is repeatedly engaging in an activity that makes someone else feel threatened. It is against the law to act in a way to cause someone else or those associated with that person to feel threatened.

Included in these activities—that cause someone to feel threatened—are things like following that person, writing to them, sending unwanted gifts, telling the person that you intend to hurt them or others close to them, or watching them.

Cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or online criminal harassment also fall under the category of criminal harassment and stalking. Any kind of repeated writing to, bothering, or soliciting someone can be considered criminal harassment. There are also other types of crimes that may apply depending on the situation, such as voyeurism if you’re photographing or taping the other individual, intimidation, and internet luring, just to name a few.

What we know about stalking is that is it vastly underreported, and that most of the victims are women. Some estimates are that at least 50 percent of cases are not reported with 75 percent of the reported cases having women as victims.

There are different types of stalkers, with different motives and methods. If you are the victim of criminal harassment, then call 9-1-1 if you feel like you are in immediate danger. The best thing you can do is document every harassing detail with dates and times. Keep copies of any letters or emails.

If you have been charged with harassment, arrested or expect to be arrested, then you should hire a lawyer who specializes in criminal law to defend you as soon as possible. Stalking and criminal harassment are serious crimes with serious penalties. And harassment is a complex area of the law because of the different types of related crimes and their nuances. We always recommend that you should not give any statements to the police without first consulting a lawyer.





Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.