Ottawa educator launches short film to raise awareness of stalking

Julie Lalonde shares story of being stalked for over a decade

Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi, Reporter

The first steps to many relationships in 2017 happen online. In fact, many of us often take to “stalking” the objects of our desires until we know every little detail that their social media feeds have to offer. However for Ottawa-based public educator Julie Lalonde, this is one of her biggest pet peeves. “The language we use about stalking in an online context just infuriates me,” she says. “Everytime we say those things we’re really minimizing the impact of actual stalking.”

Lalonde, who is a sexual assault survivor, launched her short film, Outside of the Shadows, on Dec. 15 to raise awareness about the dangers of criminal harassment, more commonly known as stalking, by sharing her own harrowing 12-year ordeal of being stalked.

Shedding light on stalking

Criminal harassment is defined as engaging  “in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them” in the Canadian Criminal Code and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Stalking most commonly occurs in the context of intimate relationships, but also occurs in situations where the victim is unknown to the perpetrator, or in cases where the perpetrator holds a grudge against the the victim.

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