Sexual Offences

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Canadian law forbids certain sexual actions and behaviours, and they can be reported as crimes. This article gives some examples of sexual crimes.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault happens when one partner doesn’t consent to (agree to) sexual touching. Sexual touching includes kissing, fondling and having sex.

Voyeurism

It’s a crime to secretly watch, photograph or film a person in a situation in which then have the right to privacy.

This is the case where a person is fully or partially naked, or when they are in a place where they are likely to be in this situation, for example a changing room.

In some situations, a person can even be accused of voyeurism for taking pictures in public. For example, a high school teacher who secretly took pictures of his students’ cleavage was found guilty of voyeurism.

Sharing an intimate image

Publishing or sharing an intimate image of someone without that person’s permission is a crime.

Indecent acts

Carrying out an indecent act in a public place in front of other people is forbidden. An example of an indecent act is a man showing his genitals in public.

It’s also forbidden to carry out an indecent act in a private place with the intention to offend others. For example, a woman who simulates masturbation in the window of her home to shock people passing by could be accused of a crime.

The law doesn’t list all possible indecent acts. Whether or not an act is indecent depends on the act and the situation. It’s up to the courts to decide whether an act is indecent.

Nudity

Being nude in a public place without a valid reason is forbidden. It’s also forbidden to be nude on private property (such as a house) where other people can see you. For example, you can’t wash your car in your driveway if you have no clothes on.