5 Things you should know if someone is stalking you at work

Many women in Canada have had the horrible experience of feeling unsafe at work because of stalking behaviours by clients, co-workers, supervisors, or an ex-partner. Some examples of behaviours that could be deemed stalking include leaving unwanted gifts, constantly monitoring activity, staring, accessing private information without permission, not respecting personal space, frequent unwanted communications and showing up at the person’s home or other locations they frequent uninvited (CaseIQ, 2023). Cyberstalking is also becoming more common and can include sending unwanted messages to the victim or their associates, using social media to gather information about their personal lives, “cyber-smearing”, tracking location through cell phones or other GPS technology or monitoring for reasons that are not work related (AuCoin, 2005).  Stalking is a criminal offence in Canada called criminal harassment and includes cyber stalking.

Here are 5 things you should know about if you are in this situation.

  1. You are not alone!

Stalking represents 5% of all reported violent crimes in Canada and at least one in ten women in Canada have experienced it (GOC, 2021). Most victims are women and know their stalker personally or through their work (GOC, 2021). The most common forms of stalking include receiving obscene calls, being spied on, and being intimidated and threatened (GOC, 2021). People who have been stalked report experiencing feelings of shame, anxiety, fear, helplessness, loss of control, decreased self-confidence, a sense of isolation and a loss of trust in people and the world at large (GOC, 2021).

  1. Don’t Keep it To Yourself!

Only one-third of victims of stalking report the stalking to the police. When not reported the stalking behaviour can escalate and can lead to the perpetrator becoming violent (GOC, 2021). It is very important for the victim to let the people in their life know what is happening including their employer, co-workers, friends, and family members so that they can take steps to help keep them safe and their personal information private (GOC, 2009).

Victims can also get help with safety planning from a variety of organizations, including victim services who can help you develop a safety plan and can provide funding for various things such as funding for special locks, surveillance equipment, etc..

There are a variety of options for obtaining an order of protection against the person who is doing the stalking including reporting the person to the police so the person can be charged with criminal harassment. When this occurs the perpetrator will often have terms of release/ probation that restrict them from communicating with their victim and from being in close proximity to their home and place of work. Another option is to obtain a peace bond which also often contains similar restrictions. Peace bonds can be enforced by police if breached.

  1. Document, Document, Document!

To convict a person of a criminal offence such as criminal harassment the court must have sufficient evidence to make a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the offence they are accused of. Those experiencing stalking should document the stalking behaviour to the greatest extent possible to maximize their chances of obtaining a restraining order or peace bond. Some of the ways to document include:


  1. Insist on Safety Measures at Work and Home

Every employer has a duty to ensure that their employees are safe at work. Some safety measures that employers can put into place to increase security for all employees include (CaseIQ, 2023):

  1. Installing CCTV cameras;
  2. Informing those who greet the public (for example security guards and receptionists) that there is a stalking situation and providing a description of the stalker;
  3. Keeping employees’ personal information private from other employees and customers;
  4. Having clear policies and training about workplace harassment that includes information about stalking;
  5. Ensuring that anyone found engaging in stalking behaviours is no longer permitted access to the workplace and serving them with a no trespass notice if possible.

Family members and friends can also help the person being stalked by:

  1. Never blaming the person being stalked for the behaviour of the stalker;
  2. Not sharing personal information with anyone without the express consent of the person being stalked;
  3. Being an emergency contact and
  4. Offering a safe place to stay in case the person needs to hide from their stalker.


  1. Get help

Stalking can be very traumatizing for its victims and the impact on their mental, physical and financial health can be long lasting. There are several province wide services that can assist in this situation, including crisis lines like the Assaulted Woman’s Help Line which can be accessed 24 hours a day 1-866-863-0511, the victim chat line which you can access by texting 211, Fem’aide which provides support to francophone women at 1-877-336-2433, Talk4Healing, a service for indigenous women by calling 1-855-554-HEAL and a service for male survivors which can be reached at 1-866-887-0015.

There are several community legal clinics across Ontario who are working together to provide legal advice for victims of sexual violence which would include stalking through a project called SHAPE which provides advice to people experiencing harassment in the workplace and Your Way Forward project which provides legal advice and support for victims of sexual violence and intimate partner violence. Both projects have been funded by the Government of Canada’s Department of Justice.



Case IQ. (2023, September 27). Stalking in the workplace: Your investigation guide. https://www.caseiq.com/resources/stalking-in-the-workplace-the-complete-guide-to-prevention-and-investigation/#What

Canada, P. H. A. of. (2009, April 9). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/publications/criminal-harassment-stalking.html

Government of Canada, Dept. of Justice (2021, December 8) (GOC). A handbook for police and Crown prosecutors on criminal harassment. Part 1: Introduction. https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/fv-vf/har/part1.html

Trent University. (n.d.). Sexual Violence - Stalking. Sexual Violence - Trent University. https://www.trentu.ca/sexualviolence/resources/stalking


*Anne-Marie Langan B.A., B.S.W., LL.B., LL.M. is the project lead for the sexual violence projects at Peterborough Community Legal Centre, including the SHAPE project which provides legal advice and public legal education about sexual harassment in the workplace and the Your Way Forward project which provides support for victims of intimate partner violence. She can be reached directly at anne-marie.langan@ptbo-nogo.clcj.ca.