Elder Abuse is Wrong: Words Used in This Booklet


Although these explanations can help you understand, they are not complete legal definitions. If you need more complex, accurate definitions, please consult a lawyer.

It is a crime when someone uses force, either directly or indirectly, or the threat of force on someone else without that person's consent. Consent that is forced, given out of fear or out of deception is not true consent.
Bail hearing
This is a court proceeding that takes place after a person has been arrested and charged. The judge decides whether that person should be released with conditions, such as being told they must not contact you, or they might be held in jail until the charges are dealt with by the court. Bail is also called "judicial interim release".
In a legal context, capacity refers to your ability to understand the information you need to make a decision and being able to appreciate the consequences of making a decision. Legal capacity does not refer to your physical ability to do things yourself.
Civil protection orders (restraining orders and emergency protection orders)
Civil protection orders include general orders of the superior court or specific legislative orders to keep one person from contacting another or to limit contact between people.

Emergency protection orders or emergency intervention orders are civil protection orders that are available in most provinces and territories under specific family violence legislation. They can grant the victim temporary exclusive occupation of the home; remove the abuser from the home; set limits on contact and communication with the victim and other remedies.

Community legal clinic
These organizations provide representation, public legal education, law reform and community development services to low-income individuals and groups within a defined geographical area.
Criminal breach of trust
It is a crime for a person, who is acting as a trustee of property for the use or benefit of another person, to convert the property with intent to defraud the beneficiary of the trust.
Criminal Code
The Criminal Code sets out criminal offences (crimes). The Code applies across Canada.
Criminal harassment
If you are scared because someone is following you or contacting you against your wishes, or watching you or behaving in a threatening manner toward you or someone close to you, that person may be committing an offence known as criminal harassment. This is sometimes called stalking.
Crown Attorney
A Crown Attorney (also known as Crown Counsel or Crown Prosecutor) is a lawyer who represents the government (the Crown, in her capacity as the head of state) as a prosecutor in proceedings under the Criminal Code.
Elder mediation
Elder mediation is a tool and cooperative process in which a professionally trained elder mediator helps facilitate discussions involving older adults on issues such as caregiver stress, financial, medical or residential care decisions.
It is a crime for a person to create a false document or alter a genuine document with the intent that it should be used or acted on as genuine to the prejudice of another person.
It is a crime for a person to use lies or deceit to manipulate another person to give them something of value, such as money, property, valuable security or services.
Help line
A help line is a free telephone service you can call for information and advice. You don't have to tell anyone your name or phone number when you call. Someone will answer the phone and will listen to you. They will try to answer your questions. They can also refer you to places that can help you. Different kinds of help lines are listed in the phone book and are sometimes advertised on buses, clinics and other places.
Legal aid office
These offices provide legal representation and public legal education and information services to low-income individuals and groups.
Peace bond
If you are afraid for your safety, you may be able to get a peace bond (also known as a recognizance or a non-contact order). This is a criminal order that sets conditions on the person who behaved abusively. For example, that person may be forbidden to see you, write to you, or telephone you. If the person who behaved abusively disobeys the order, the police may arrest them. If you want to know more about peace bonds, you can ask a lawyer.
Power of Attorney
A legal document which gives a specifically appointed person the right to make binding decisions for another person, as an agent for that person. There are different kinds of power of attorney. Persons holding a power of attorney have legal obligations respecting how the authority can be used.
Public Guardian or Trustee
This office in every province or territory can be contacted for information and tools safeguard the legal, personal and financial interests of individuals and estates.
Sexual assault (sexual offences)
It is a crime to engage any unwanted sexual activity or touching with another person without their consent. Sexual assault can range from fondling to forced sexual intercourse. Consent that is forced, given out of fear or out of deception is not true consent. Other sexual offences include sexual exploitation of children and of persons with a disability.
Sexual harassment
Any unwanted or unwelcome sexual conduct, comment, gesture or contact that is likely to cause offence or humiliation.
Shelter / transition home
This is a safe place for you and your dependents to stay for free while you make other living arrangements. The addresses of shelters and the names of people who stay at shelters are not given out. There are people who work at shelters who can help with advice and basic needs. Phone numbers for shelters are found in the first few pages of the telephone book. The police and community centres also have phone numbers of shelters.
It is a crime for a person to illegally take another person's property without that person's consent.
Victim services
Offer services and programs for victims of crime. They can provide support and resources, and respond to any safety concerns you may have in the aftermath of a crime, including information about the court system.
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