What is an Assault?

At its essence, assault is touching someone without their consent. To be found guilty of assault in Ontario, the Crown Attorney needs to prove that an assault occurred and that one had the intent to assault another. A simple push or shove is an assault. However, a person who accidentally bumped into another or pushed them by accident in everyday life at say a busy shopping mall, amusement park or in a lineup  would not be guilty of assault – criminal intent would be lacking. Spitting on another person is an assault, even though it does not involve actually hitting of another.  Assaults occur in all sorts of contexts, which are too numerous to list, however, some common examples are domestic incidents between couples, disputes between strangers that escalate out of control, and bar fights.