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Assault refers to three levels of physical assaults which include the following categories:

  • Common assault, (section 265). This includes the Criminal Code category assault (level 1). This is the least serious form of assault and includes pushing, slapping, punching, and face-to-face verbal threats.

  • Major assault levels 2 and 3, (sections 267, 268). This includes more serious forms of assault, i.e. assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm (level 2) and aggravated assault (level 3). Assault level 2 involves carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon against someone or causing someone bodily harm. Assault level 3 involves wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of someone.

Criminal harassment, (section 264.1) is defined as repeatedly following another person from place to place or repeatedly attempting to contact the person against their wishes causing that person to reasonably fear for their personal safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

Family and non-family - The nature of the relationship between the victim and the accused is determined by establishing the identity of the accused relative to the victim. Family members include spouses, children, siblings, parents or other persons related to the victim by blood, marriage or another legal relationship (e.g. adoption). All other relationships are considered to be non-family.

Homicide includes first and second degree murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Deaths caused by criminal negligence, suicide, accidental or justifiable homicides are not included in this classification.

Major injuries are those that require professional medical treatment or immediate transportation to a medical facility.

Minor injuries are defined as those that do not require professional medical treatment or only some first aid.

Older adults and seniors are used interchangeably in this report and refer to Canadians aged 65 years or older.

Sexual assault encompasses a wide range of criminal acts in the Criminal Code of Canada. Such conduct ranges from unwanted sexual touching to sexual violence resulting in serious physical injury or disfigurement to the victim. It also includes special categories of offences designed to protect children from sexual abuse.

  • Sexual assault level 1, (section 271). This involves minor physical injuries or no injuries to the victim.

  • Sexual assault level 2, (section 272). This includes sexual assault with a weapon, threats or causing bodily harm.

  • Aggravated sexual assault level 3, (section 273). This results in wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim.

  • Other sexual offences include a group of offences that are primarily meant to address incidents of sexual abuse directed at children. The Criminal Code offences that are included in this category are:

    • Sexual interference (section 151) – is the direct or indirect touching (for a sexual purpose) of a person under the age of 14 years using a part of the body or an object.

    • Invitation to sexual touching (section 152) – is the inviting, counseling, or inciting of a person under the age of 14 years to touch (for a sexual purpose) the body of any person directly or indirectly with a part of the body or with an object.

    • Sexual exploitation (section 153) – occurs when a person in a position of trust or authority towards a young person or a person with whom the young person is in a relationship of dependency, commits sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching. In this section “young person” refers to a person between 14 and 18 years of age.

    • Incest (section 155) – occurs when an individual has sexual intercourse with a person that has a known defined blood relationship with them.

    • Anal intercourse (section 159) and Bestiality (Section 160) are also included in this category of offences. These offences may be directed at children, but not always.

Spouse – The UCR2 survey defines spouse as the husband or wife through marriage or common-law and includes same-sex partners. Where indicated, separated and/or divorced spouses are also included in this category. The separated or divorced category includes the former husband or wife (by marriage or by common law relationship) who is separated or divorced at the time of the criminal incident. Includes same-sex ex-partners/ of homosexual relationships.