We all have sexual rights and responsibilities. We all have the right to decide when, where, in what situation, and with who we would like to be sexual with. We all have the responsibility to make sure that the people we want to be sexual with actively consent to whatever sexual activities you do together. People might consent to one thing or a few things, but not to others. People might consent to begin with, and then change their mind. Sexual consent means only doing something sexual because everyone involved really wants to and are making an active choice to be involved and continue, not because anyone is feeling pressured or unsure. Consent is all about free and voluntary agreement which means that for consent to be present, the law says that people must:. The law is clear that we should never assume someone is consenting. We should never assume that a person is consenting because they have said yes at other times or because of their reputation or the way they act or dress. People can show sexual consent by words or actions.
Gery Karantzas receives funding from the Australian Research Council. He is also the founder of www. Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone years their junior or senior.
Stephen Robertson, University of Sydney, Australia. Introduction. In western law, the age of consent is the age at which an individual is treated as capable of so was possession of proof of age or even knowledge of a precise date of birth.
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As such, couples are a fundamental building block of society. Changing social attitudes during the late 20th century have led to an increase in de facto and same-sex relationships as well as giving people more freedom to end relationships, start new relationships or remain single. Factors such as the trend towards partnering at a later age, and the increased financial and social independence of women, may be associated with this decline, as well as legal changes in recent decades which have improved access to divorce.
The number of people living in a same-sex couple relationship has also increased over the past decade. In , 0.
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For legal advice about your own particular situation we encourage you to call the This is because the law says that a person must be ‘the age of consent’ or in allowing the Legal Services Commission of South Australia to use and adapt.
The law in Victoria sets clear age limits for when you can legally have sex. This is called the age of consent. A person can be charged with a sexual offence if they perform a sexual act that breaks these age limits, even if the younger person agrees to it. The age of consent for same-sex relationships is the same as it is for heterosexual relationships. If you are under 12, a person can’t have sex with you or touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you agree. However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed that you were 16 or if there was less than a two-year age difference between you.
This is exactly two years. For example, if a person is 17 and has sex with someone who is 15, it is not a crime. But if the person was 18, it is a crime unless the person believed the person was 16 or older. A person who is caring for you or supervising you, like a teacher, youth worker or foster carer, can’t have sex with you or sexually touch you or perform a sexual act or indecent act with you or in front of you, even if you agree, unless they are married to you.
However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed you were 18 or older.
The Age of Consent in Australia is 16 years old. The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Australia are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law. Australia statutory rape law is violated each of Australia’s territories has local laws specifying an age of consent, which ranges from a low of 16 years old to a high of 17 years old.
In NSW, the legal age of consent is 16, which means it is illegal for For example, the age of consent is 16 in NSW but 17 in South Australia.
The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Australia , New Zealand and other parts of Oceania , ranging from age 15 to age The specific activity engaged in or the gender of its participants can also be affected by the law. Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject. The highlighted age refers to an age at or above which an individual can engage in unfettered sexual relations with another who is also at or above that age.
Close in age exceptions may exist and are noted when relevant. In Vanuatu the homosexual age of consent is set higher at 18, while the heterosexual age of consent is In all other places the age of consent is equal, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. The below is a list of all jurisdictions in Oceania as listed in the list of sovereign states and dependent territories in Oceania. Australia is a federation of States and Territories, with each State and Territory having the primary jurisdiction over age of consent issues within its territory.
However, as a result of the international affairs power under Australia’s constitution, a United Nations Human Rights Committee ruling has resulted in States repealing rules that differentiated between homosexual and heterosexual people on age of consent issues. Under federal legislation that applies to all Australians, it is an offence for an Australian citizen, resident or body corporate  while outside of Australia to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16  or to induce a child under the age of 16 to have sexual intercourse,  or be somehow involved in a similar sexual act.
Sex between consenting adults 18 or over in private, regardless of gender or sexual orientation cannot be outlawed under section 4 of the Human Rights Sexual Conduct Act It is an offence in the Australian Capital Territory to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of It is an offence in New South Wales to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16  or attempt such an offence.
Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in The criminal laws of different states and territories across Australia are notorious for their lack of consistency. One example of this is the age of consent for sexual acts.
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Any sexual activity without your agreement is unlawful. The legal age for consent for having sex in Queensland is This strict age limit is in place to help protect you from harm. Find out more about when I can have sex. If someone tries to have sex with you without your agreement this may be considered sexual assault or rape and you should report it to the police.
You can also get support from a range of sexual assault support services. Strict age limits apply for when you can legally have sex. These apply to people in same-sex and heterosexual relationships, and are designed to protect you from harm from older people. This includes:. There are some other situations where sexual activity with a person is considered to be even more serious. These include if:.
This also applies to same-sex couples. Incest is illegal even if you both consent to it.
If you require assistance or would like to talk to a trained professional about the issues described in this paper, please call Kids Helpline on 55 or Lifeline on 13 11 This document is provided as a guide only. Information is current up to the date of publication. Individuals are encouraged to check the currency of any information that is provided by contacting relevant departments or organisations.
This resource sheet is designed to inform practitioners and researchers about age of consent legislation in Australia. If you are a young person seeking advice on sexual relations please refer to some of the following websites:.
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Deciding to have sex with someone is a big decision. If you think that you are ready to have sex, it is important that you are aware of the different laws about how old you have to be to have sex, and to understand what the law means by sex. Before you have sex, you should talk to a health professional about how to practice safe sex and to make sure you are fully aware of the risks of practising unsafe sex. It is never okay for a person to have sex with another person who is under 12 years old.
If you are aged years old, you can legally have sex with another person who is less than 2 years older than you as long as you both actively agree to it. Once you turn 16, you can legally have sex with another person who is also aged 16 years or older as long as you both actively agree to it.
The MeToo and TimesUp movements have placed increased focus on sexual harassment and consent issues over the last few months. In NSW, the legal age of consent is 16, which means it is illegal for anyone to participate in sexual activity with a person below this age, even if both parties are willing. But is this still the case when a minor lies about their age? If an year-old man meets a year-old girl in a nightclub, but she claims to be 17, is he protected from statutory rape laws if they later have sex?
was pushing to make ‘teenage dating‘ illegal or that we were proposing to stop In recognition of the feedback we received, we have reconsidered the age gap we are proposing Appendix B: Current Age of Consent Laws in Australia.
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What the law says. It is a crime to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of But you might have a defence if you are a similar.
The laws about sexual matters set clear limits for having sex. If police want to question you about an offence, see a lawyer as soon as possible. In Western Australia, people under 16 years old cannot legally consent to having sex, even if they said ‘yes’ at the time. An example of this is the relationship between a teacher and a student, or a sports coach and a team member. To consent to having sex, a person needs to be old enough over the legal age of consent and must freely agree to the sexual activity.
Everyone who is old enough has the right to freely decide if they want to have sex or not. Someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep can’t freely consent. If you have sex with someone who is unable to freely consent, this is sexual assault, which is a serious crime. Consent can be taken back at any time – it doesn’t matter if you’ve already started to have sex. If one person no longer wants sexual activity, then you have to stop. Some people might give non-verbal signs that they want to stop instead of saying ‘no’.
Non-verbal signs can include things like turning away, pushing your hand away, or not responding to your touch. If you touch someone sexually when they don’t want you to, it is a serious crime.