Sex With Others – Rights and Responsibilities

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their sexual relationships and experiences. Everyone has the responsibility to treat others with dignity, and respect their choices.

Sex and the Law

In Tasmania no-one is legally allowed to have sex with anyone under the age of 17 years. You might have a defence if you are both around the same age and the sex is consensual (you both agree).

Find out more about sex and the law here.

Choice and consent

Having sex is a personal decision. Everyone has a right to decide what they do with their own bodies, including you.

Consenting (agreeing) to sex is essential both legally and ethically. To consent to sex, a person needs to freely agree to the sexual activity, and be within the legal age of consent.

It is a crime to force someone to have sex, trick them into having sex, or have sex with them if they are drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep. 

To keep everyone safe, assume that the answer is ‘No’ until you know for sure the answer is ‘Yes’. Silence does not equal consent.

People won’t always say ‘No’ if they don’t want to do something. Sometimes they’ll let you know in other ways, like moving their bodies away from yours, pushing you away, or ‘freezing’ their body. Keep checking in with your partner to make sure they are OK to keep going. 

People can withdraw consent at any time, even during a sexual activity they previously agreed to. As soon as they don’t want to do it anymore, you must stop.

Intercourse, sexual touching, exposing ‘private’ body parts like genitals, and showing people sexual images or videos without consent is not OK.

If someone has done this to you, you might want some support. You can speak with us at Family Planning and we can connect you with people specially trained to help you. Or you can call the following organisations directly:

SASS (Sexual Assault Support Service) – 1800 697 877 (24 hours)

Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800 or www.kidshelp.com.au

Useful documents

You may find these downloads helpful:

Sex with others - rights and responsibilities
Consent - Low literacy quick guide
Youth health and relationships booklet

This content is provided for general information and education purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances. It is not to be relied on in substitution for specific advice from a medical professional and Family Planning Tasmania does not accept responsibility for such use. Family Planning Tasmania has taken every effort to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, however information and knowledge is subject to change. Family Planning Tasmania advises that you always consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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