Filing a claim against a bully can be a challenge. This is especially true considering legislation protecting victims of bullying is still relatively new. Before you move forward with your bullying lawsuit in Ontario, read on to learn more about the laws surrounding anti-bullying and what you can do if you or your child is being bullied in Ontario.
The Ontario Education Act
When most people think of bullying, they assume two things: that bullying exclusively happens to children, and that it occurs within the school system. While there are certainly other types of bullying, and adults can be victims of bullies, this stereotype does represent a large number of bullying cases in Ontario.
In an effort to quell the instances of bullying within Ontario schools, the Ontario Education Act specifically describes what behaviours constitute bullying within the school environment and when law enforcement should become involved. Generally speaking, police will become involved if there is physical violence or assault, evidence of a hate crime (a crime involving race, sexual orientation, or religion), or theft.
Though the Ontario Education Act defines the behaviours that are considered to be bullying, there is no provincial law that explicitly prohibits bullying. With that being said, a civil claim can be brought forward for bullying behaviours, without regard to whether charges have been filed in criminal court.
Different Types of Bullying and How to Handle Them
Bullies, unfortunately, have many different ways of traumatizing their victims. Intimidation, threats, assault of any kind, and harassment are just a few of the most commonly thought of kinds of bullying behaviours. However, with the rise of social media and other internet-based forums, cyberbullying has become a significant cause for concern for both children and adults.
Cyberbullying can include a broad array of harassment and threats, but there are many other ways the internet is being used to torment others. Cyberbullies have been known to release illicit photos or videos of their victims without their consent (revenge porn), impersonate their victims online, and make or send disturbing content encouraging their victims to harm themselves.
Additionally, each of these types of bullying can occur in the workplace. It is not uncommon for employees to be bullied by colleagues or their superiors, and despite the fact that Ontario has employment laws that prohibit bullying behaviours, they do little to actually protect a victim.
If your or your child has been victimized by a bully in person or online, you can do something about it. Law enforcement can handle any criminal charges, but you can also pursue a civil lawsuit that, if successful, could compel the bully or those liable for the bullying to compensate you for your suffering.
Contact a Toronto Bullying Lawyer
When you are ready to hold your bully accountable to the fullest extent of the law, you’ll want a passionate Toronto bullying lawyer on your side. Reach out our team at Jasmine Daya & Co. for help with your lawsuit. We can be reached by phone at 416-967-9100 or through the quick contact form we have included at the bottom of this page.