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Sex and the Law

Age of Consent

There really are laws about everything aren’t there?! While sex is a very private thing there needs to be laws about it to help protect you. Once you are 16, you can legally have sex with any other person who is over 16, as long as you both agree to it. However, if one of the people is in a position of care or authority (eg. a School teacher), it is illegal for them to have sex with anyone under 18 years.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can be any sexual behaviour or act which is threatening, violent, forced, coercive or exploitative and to which a person has not given consent or was not able to give consent. Sexual assault is a criminal offence and you can go to the police for help if it happens to you. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not, it is still illegal.
The link below will give you information about sexual assault, as well as numbers you can call if you have been sexually assaulted. It can be a very hard thing to talk about, but remember that there are professionals who are used to dealing with these issues and they will be able to help you. Sexual assault can still be very traumatic years after it has occurred, and it’s never too late to seek help. Click here for some more information about dealing with sexual assault.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual attention that is, or that you find, offensive, humiliating or intimidating. Sexual harassment can be written, verbal or physical and can occur at work, school, uni or in social settings. Both males and females can be the victims of sexual harassment.

If you can’t resolve it by talking to the person, then the best thing to do is talk to a trusted adult, maybe a boss or teacher. It can sometimes be hard to deal with if people try to treat it as a joke. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone who is involved in the situation, you might like to get some help or advice in working out how you will handle it. You can call the Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commission on (08) 9216 3900 or have a look at their website below