Bullying, extortion, threats, and harassment can give you anxiety, fear, and stress. Threats can even be criminal in some cases. There are resources to help you deal with these behaviours.
Making a complaint
If you are in an emergency, or if you feel your safety is in danger, call 9-1-1. In all other cases, you can contact your local police department to file a complaint.
Threats to kill or harm
A threat is criminal if the victim has reason to believe that someone will carry it out and:
- kill or injure someone
- kill or harm an animal, or
- break, burn, or destroy property.
It’s still a crime if the person who made the threat had no intention of carrying it out.
Some examples of threats are:
- texting someone: “You’re not going to make it out alive!”
- telling someone: “I’ll set your car on fire!”
- pretending to hold a knife to someone’s throat and saying: “Take away your dog or I will…”
Each case is unique. Whether a threat will be considered a crime will depend on the circumstances of each situation. This means that in some cases, words that some would consider “innocent” may still be criminal. For example, the words “I’m coming to get you” may seem harmless. However, in a tense situation, these same words could be considered a criminal threat.
Threats to force you to do (or not do) something
Threats designed to force you to do (or not do) something can be considered intimidation or extortion.
A threat meant to get something fromsomeone is the crime of extortion. Threats can be physical (to hurt or kill) or psychological (threatening to harm your reputation). For example:
- Someone threatens to release your nudes if you don’t have sex with them.
- Someone threatens to break your legs if you don’t give them some money.
A threat meant to make you do something or not do something that you have the right to do is the crime of intimidation. Here are some examples of behaviours that could be considered intimidation:
- Using or threatening to use violence against you or someone close to you.
- Persistently following you.
- Hiding your tools, clothes, or belongings to prevent you from doing something.
- Watching your home or workplace.
Repeated threats: harassment
Harassment is criminal when:
- the victim fears for their safety or the safety of someone close to them,
- the behaviour is repetitive or threatening.
Repetitive behaviour, such as repeatedly calling or following someone, can be considered criminal harassment.
What you can do
Whether you decide to go to the police or not, support is available, and you can take action to end the threats.
Ask for protection
You can ask a judge to order the person threatening you to sign a peace bond, also known as an “810“. An 810 can be ordered when a victim fears for their safety, even if the other person has not committed a crime.
You can also ask a judge for a civil protection order. You have the right to protectio n from another person, even if they have not committed a crime. For more information, you can visit the Quebec government’s website (French only).
There are also community resources available to help victims. You can consult our article to find out about the different resources available.