Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking

Abuse is never acceptable, and it is never the victim’s fault.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) happens in close relationships – such as between married or common-law couples, people in dating relationships, or two people who have a child together – where one person uses any form of violence or abuse to cause fear and gain control over the other person. Two people don’t have to be living together; they can be living apart while the abuse is occurring. To be considered IPV, a person who is any of the following must have committed the abuse:

  • lives or did live with you as a spouse or intimate partner
  • had a dating relationship with you (whether or not you ever lived together)
  • is the biological or adoptive parent of your child, regardless of marital status or if you have ever lived together

Domestic violence includes:

  • causing harm to you or your property, or using threatening actions or behaviours that cause you to fear being harmed or fear your property will be damaged
  • emotional abuse
  • forcing you to remain against your will
  • sexual abuse

Violence can happen in any family and affects people of all ages, genders, cultures, income levels, religions, professions and abilities.

To learn more about domestic violence, its effects, and what you can do to stay safe, visit the About Domestic Violence page.

The Domestic Violence Support Service

Victim Services’ Domestic Violence Support Service is a free program that helps individuals who are victims of IPV where criminal charges have been, or may be laid against their partner. For more information, visit the Domestic Violence Support Service section of our website


Stalking occurs when a person who has no legal reason to contact you, continues to bother you after you have said you want to be left alone. This repeated, unwanted contact can make you afraid for your personal safety. Anyone can be a stalker, and anyone can be a target of stalking.

Stalking may include:

  • following you from place to place, or following your family or friends to get information about you
  • communicating directly or indirectly with you or your family or friends to get information about you
  • watching you in your home, workplace or any other place
  • threatening and intimidating behaviour or comments directed at you

To learn more about stalking, check out our About Stalking page.

Protective Orders (Restraining Orders)

A person who has been subjected to domestic violence or stalking can apply for a protective order under the The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act. To learn more about protective orders, visit the Protective Orders area of our website

If you feel unsafe in your home

If you:

  • Rent your home;
  • Are a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking;
  • And you have concerns about your and/or your children’s safety due to the domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking if you stay in your home;

You may be able to terminate your residential lease before it expires. To learn more, visit the Terminating a Tenancy area of our website.