What is the age of consent in Victoria?
The age of consent in Victoria is 16 years old. As such it is not legal for someone to engage in sexual activity with a person under the age of 16, as the other person is not legally capable to provide their consent.
It is also very much illegal for someone in a position of authority, such as a teacher or coach to engage in sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 who is under their care or supervision. The penalties such conduct will attract for engaging in sexual activity with a person under the age of consent can be severe, including imprisonment and being placed on the sex offender registry for life.
Does the age of consent change if the age of the participants are younger than 18?
The age of consent will stay at 16 years old even if both the participants are under the age of 18. However, between the ages of 12 and 16, the participants will not be charged if there is an age difference of two years or less and the youngest participant is at least 12 years old.
There are laws in the Crimes Act 1958 that prohibit certain sexual activities involving minors, including such laws as those governing sexual penetration of a child under 12 years old, and laws against sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 who is in a position of dependency or trust, such as a student or someone in care. Engaging in any sexual activity with a minor can result in criminal charges and serious penalties, including very long terms of imprisonment and placement on the sex offender registry.
Additionally, if the sexual activity is non-consensual or involves force or coercion, it can still be considered a criminal offence regardless of the ages of the participants.