Legal Definitions

The Crimes Act 1961 defines sexual crimes.

Sexual violation is:    a)   rape and/or

b)   unlawful sexual connection

Rape is penetration of genetalia by the penis without consent.

Unlawful sexual connection is sex without consent.

Sex includes penetration of the vagina or anus by another part of the body or object, or oral sex.

Allowing sexual activity does not amount to consent in some circumstances. A person does not consent to sexual activity:

  1. just because he or she does not protest or offer physical resistance to the activity;
  2. if they allow the activity because of force, under threat or the fear force;
  3. if they are mistaken about the true identity of the person or the nature of the act;
  4. if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious;
  5. if she or he is so affected by alcohol or some other drug that he or she cannot consent or refuse to consent.


Sexual connection with a child (defined as under 12) is a crime. Children are not able to give consent.

Sexual connection with a young person under 16 is also a crime. It is not a defence that the young person consented.

Sexual connection is incest if:

a)     it is between 2 people whose relationship is that of parent and child, siblings, half-siblings, or grandparent and grandchild; and

b)     the person charged knows of the relationship.

Sexual violation is still a crime even if, at the time, the offender is married to the victim.



Leave a Reply