The basic laws about sex are that people can’t have sex together if:
- one of them is under the age of consent
- one person doesn’t want to
- they are in the same family.
If you have sex with someone underage or against their will, it is a serious crime called a sexual offence.
Under the age of consent
There are also special rules about people responsible for young people, including teachers and youth workers.
When one person does not agree to sex
As well as age limits, the law says that two people can’t have sex unless they both freely agree (). If you don’t freely agree and someone threatens you to engage in a sexual act or touches you sexually or indecently, they are breaking the law.
Sexual offences include rape, incest and sexual assault against both adults and children.
It may also be a sexual offence if:
- you agreed to sex but then changed your mind, and the other person did not believe on reasonable grounds that you continued to consent
- someone has sex with you or touches you sexually when you are asleep, unconscious or so affected by alcohol or drugs that you are not able to agree.
Contraception, pregnancy and abortion
If you are a young person thinking about having sex, you need to understand your rights and the law. This includes how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and what you can do if you get pregnant. Find out more about how the law applies to .
Publications and resources
Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.
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Reviewed 06 May 2022