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Harassment

This module is an introduction to online harassment, including cyberbullying.
PLEASE NOTE:this page provides information ONLY. We do not provide legal or other professional advice. If you require advice, you need to speak with an expert.

Tips

  • Know your rightsNo one deserves to be harassed, online or offline. Laws such as the Criminal Code of Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Act offer protection from some forms of harassment.
  • Listen and supportWhether it is someone in a position of authority, family or friends, having someone who will listen to you and support you is important and helpful.
  • Check your College's code of conductMost colleges have anti-harassment policies in place which include protection from online harassment.
  • Look for policies in your workplaceMany employers have anti-harassment policies in place.

Additional information

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What is Harassment?

"Harassment is a form of discrimination. It involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time. Serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment."

From the Canadian Human Rights Commission

When is Harassment and Cyberbullying Considered a Crime?

Some forms of harassment are considered crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada. They are spread out in different sections of the Criminal Code and include:

  • Stalking, referred to as Criminal harassment 
  • Uttering threats
  • Intimidation
  • Mischief in relation to data
  • Unauthorized use of computer
  • Identity fraud
  • Extortion
  • False messages, indecent or harassing telephone calls
  • Counselling suicide
  • Incitement of hatred
  • Defamatory libel (find out more in our Defamation section)
  • Child pornography
  • Non-consensual distribution of intimate images

This information comes from Legalline.ca's page on Cyberbullying and Get Cyber Safe from the Government of Canada

Online Harassment Case Study: Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd, posted the video below to YouTube to describe her experience as a victim of bullying. About one month later she took her own life at the age of fifteen. 

Reflection Questions

  1. Canada now has anti cyber-bullying laws. Do you feel these laws do enough to protect Canadians? Does the law violate Canadian's rights to privacy? 
  2. What resources should be available to victims of online harassment? 
  3. If you knew someone experiencing online harassment and bullying, what could you do to help them?
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