With the increase in allegations of harassment, especially in Hollywood, it has been a topic of conversation in the Press about what does and does not constitute harassment. This got us thinking, what about Valentine’s Day? A day when it is expected that you will shower your significant other or secret valentine with cards and presents. Could this be considered harassment?

Let’s look at the law – briefly, harassment is a course of conduct which amounts to the harassment of another and which the person knows or ought to know amounts to the harassment of another.

So is sending cards, flowers and chocolates to your secret valentine considered harassment? Possibly. As you read this, we can hear those of you made to buy your other half’s cards and presents releasing whoops of delight that you have a reason not to “do” Valentine’s Day and we can hear your other half’s groaning.

However, to be considered harassment, the sending of cards and presents this Valentine’s Day must be part of a course of conduct. This means that there must be two or more separate incidents close enough in time. So, there is no harassment if you send a card and presents together just on Valentine’s Day and at no other time in the period before or after Valentine’s Day.

But if your secret valentine has a birthday shortly before or after Valentine’s Day, and you send them cards and presents then too then arguably, you may have a case of harassment! In that case, your defence would be that your behaviour did not amount to harassment and of course this would be considered on a case by case basis.   

If you would like more information then please contact the Crime team on 0116 2628596.


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