What if my abusive partner is charged with a crime?

1. Find out what your partner was charged with

You can ask the police or the Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff at the criminal court what your partner was charged with.

Your partner can be charged with one or more crimes. Here are some common crimes that happen in partner abuse cases:


Assault is when one person applies force to another person, or attempts or threatens to apply force to them without their consent. Assault is a crime even if you're not hurt, and sometimes even if you were not actually touched. An assault can happen when your partner:

  • threatens you with violence
  • slaps you
  • shoves you
  • kicks you
  • punches you
  • stabs you

Depending on what happened, your partner might be charged with “assault”, “assault with a weapon”, “assault causing bodily harm”, or “aggravated assault”.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a sexual act or touch that you don't consent to. It is a crime even if you're not physically hurt. Sexual assault can include:

  • an unwanted kiss
  • an unwanted sexual touch
  • forced penetration (rape)
  • threats to force you to do any of these things

Being does not give your partner the right to sexually assault you.

Depending on what happened, your partner might be charged with “sexual assault”, “sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third or causing bodily harm”, or “aggravated sexual assault”.

Other charges

If your partner forced you to stay somewhere by threatening you or physically stopping you from leaving, they might be charged with “forcible confinement”.

If your partner threatened you, they might be charged with “uttering threats”.

“Criminal harassment” is also a common charge in partner abuse cases. Criminal harassment includes things like stalking, harassing phone calls, or unwanted visits to your home or workplace.

Stalking is when you have a reasonable fear for your safety because your partner does one or more of the following:

  • watches and follows you
  • damages your property
  • tries to contact you when you don't want them to
  • sends you lots of messages that you don't want by mail, voicemail, email, or through other people
Hide this website