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Selected Criminal Offences

Some forms of workplace sexual harassment could result in criminal charges. Matters such as sexual assault, criminal harassment, threats or intimidation can be reported to the police. The police may investigate the matter. Criminal charges will be laid if there is enough evidence to support the charge.

Sexual Assault

The law recognizes the right of every person to choose whether to have sexual contact with another person. This applies to all kinds of sexual contact – from a touch to intercourse. Sexual harassment becomes sexual assault if there is any kind of touching of a sexual nature without your consent. It is also sexual assault to threaten to have sexual contact with you without your consent. There are three levels of sexual assault based on the degree of force used.

Sexual Assault: occurs if you have been kissed, fondled or forced to have intercourse without your consent.

Sexual Assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily injury: occurs if more than one person assaulted you during the incident or the person who assaulted you…

  • had a weapon, or an imitation weapon, and threatened to use it
  • threatened to harm someone else (for example a member of your family or a friend)
  • injured you during the assault

Aggravated Sexual Assault: occurs if you were wounded, maimed or disfigured during the assault or if your life was endangered.

Criminal Harassment

It is a criminal offence for anyone to make you reasonably fear for your safety or the safety of someone you know by...

  • repeatedly following you or someone you know
  • repeatedly contacting you or someone you know by any means including in-person, in writing, over the phone or by text or email
  • watching a place where you or someone you know is
  • engaging in threatening conduct towards you or someone in your family

No actual injury need occur. The offender does not need to have intended to harm you. If their behaviour would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, it is criminal harassment.

Intimidation

It is a criminal offence for anyone to try to force you to do something or prevent you from doing something by…

  • using violence against you, your family or your property
  • threatening you or your family with violence or damage to your property
  • persistently following you
  • taking your things
  • chasing after you by car
  • watching your home, place of work or somewhere else you happen to be
  • blocking a roadway

It is also a criminal offence to intimidate a witness.

Uttering Threats

It is a criminal offence for anyone to threaten to…

  • kill or cause bodily harm to any person
  • damage, destroy or burn property
  • kill, poison or injure any person’s animal or bird

Indecent or Harassing Telephone Calls

It is a criminal offence to make an indecent telephone call, or to repeatedly call someone to harass them. It is also a criminal offence to tell someone false information with the intent to injure or alarm them, for example, to falsely tell you that someone close to you has been injured or killed.

Extortion

Extortion means using threats or violence to get someone to do something or to obtain something. Extortion is a criminal offence. Many people think of extortion as involving only money, but this is not always the case. For example, a person could be convicted of extorting an act of sexual intercourse.

Sharing Intimate Images

During a relationship partners may agree to take or exchange intimate images with one another. When the use of such images goes beyond what was originally agreed to or anticipated, it could be against the law. Under the Criminal Code, it is an offence to share intimate images without a person’s consent. Intimate images are broadly defined as images where an individual is nude or semi-nude, or engaged in explicit sexual activity and has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In Saskatchewan, victims of the unauthorized sharing of intimate images may also start a civil action for damages.

Detailed information about sexual assault and other criminal offences, as well as information for victims of crime, is available at plea.org.

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This site provides general information about workplace sexual harassment only. It is not a substitute for receiving legal advice about your situation. Apply now to receive 4 hours of free legal advice.

The Shift Project is funded by the Department of Justice and delivered by the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).