Sexual abuse is any behaviour of a sexual nature that you have not agreed to. It may make you feel uncomfortable, frightened, worried or intimidated.
Consent - what is it?
- Consent is the agreement between two or more people to engage in sexual acts together
- It must be given freely and voluntarily
- Just because someone doesn’t say “no”, doesn't mean they are saying “yes”
- Silence does not equal consent
- People affected by drugs or alcohol cannot legally give consent for sex
- A person who is asleep or unconscious cannot consent
- A person who is pressured or intimidated into having sex has not given consent
- Everyone is responsible for making sure the other person is comfortable and okay with what is happening.
Am I old enough to have consensual sex?
(Tasmanian state law - note that other states in Australia have differing laws on consent)
For more information about the legalities of consent, see the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania's website.
- If you're under 12, a person can’t have sex with you, touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you consent (agree). The law says you're too young to consent to sex.
- If you're between 12 and 15 years old, a person can’t have sex with you, touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you if they are more than three years older than you, even if you consent (agree).
- If you're 15 years or older, a person can’t have sex with you, touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you, if they are more than five years older than you, even if you consent (agree).
- If you're 17 years or older you can consent (agree) to have sex with anyone else 17 years or older.
Remember that any sexual contact without consent is sexual assault.
Want to learn more about sex and relationships?
If you have been sexually assaulted, or you are worried, anxious or scared about a sexual issue, you can contact SASS on 03 6231 1817 or our 24/7 crisis line on 1800 697 877 to talk things through.
You can also call Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800, or go to their website at www.kidshelp.com.au.