What Is A Domestic Assault?

Under section 265 of the Criminal Code, a person commits an assault when:

  • without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
  • he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
  • while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs

There is no separate offence of Domestic or Spousal Assault in the Criminal Code. Given the sensitive nature of assaults committed within personal relationships, many courthouses in the GTA have created specialized courtrooms, staffed by prosecutors that deal exclusively with cases of Assault where the Accused and Complainant are intimate partners.

To be classified as a Domestic Assault for the purposes of these courts, the Accused and Complainant need not be married. The relationship can be any personal relationship between two people; whether they are dating, living together, common law, or married. Relationships can be between a woman and a man or same sex partners.


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