CRIMINAL CODE SECTION 34

Self-defence against unprovoked assault Section 34-C.C.C.

34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.

(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if

(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and

(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.

For more information click on the Criminal Code of Canada

Factors to help you determine if you are in imminent danger of being assaulted

·                 Did the assailant have or appear to have the ability to behave as you perceived?

·                 Did the assailant demonstrate intent? Did words and actions or body language lead you to believe the assailant had the intent to attack you?

·                Did the assailant have the means to attack you?

Defender - Assailant factors
Age
Size
Sex
Skill

Disability

Explanation of Defender - Assailant Factors

Age:              An older person who is confronted with a much younger assailant may need to use a much greater level of force in order to defend himself. Conversely, it would be expected that a younger person who is confronted with a much older assailant would most likely use less force in order to defend himself.

Size:             A relatively small person who encounters a large assailant may have to use greater levels of force in order to defend himself.

Sex:              A female defender who is being assaulted by a male assailant would probably need to employ greater levels of force in order to successfully defend herself.

Skill:             The skill level of the defender and the assailant also enters into the use of force determination. The defender facing an assailant whose skill level is obviously higher than that of the defender may need to use a higher level of force to defend himself.

Disability:      Persons with physical disabilities are much more likely to be injured during a physical confrontation and in all probability would need to use any means at their disposal in order to successfully defend themselves.

Totality of the circumstances
Imminent Danger
Special Knowledge
Injury/Exhaustion
Multiple Assailants
Ground Fighting

Explanation of the Totality of the Circumstances

Imminent Danger:           the assailant is known to be armed

Special Knowledge   the assailant is known to have special skills which increase their threat

Injury/Exhaustion:          the defender becomes injured or exhausted

Multiple Assailants:        the defender must face multiple assailants

    Ground Fighting:          the defender faces multiple tactical disadvantages            
                                        (weight; debris; disease; weapon; multiple assailants;      
                                        decreased environmental opportunities)