What is a sexual offence?
Sexual offences can happen to anyone. Often sexual offences are not reported to police because victim/survivors feel scared, embarrassed and confused.
Sexual assault is never the victim’s ‘fault’.
Sexual offences include crimes listed in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) (‘Crimes Act‘).
Sexual offences include:
- sexual assault;
- threat to commit a sexual assault;
- sexual servitude;
- sexual offences committed against children and people with a cognitive or mental impairment.
When interpreting consent provisions in the Crimes Act, it is the intention of parliament that courts have regard to the facts that:
- there is a high incidence of sexual violence within society; and
- sexual offences are significantly under‑reported; and
- a significant number of sexual offences are committed against women, children and other vulnerable persons including persons with a cognitive impairment or mental illness; and
- sexual offenders are commonly known to their victims; and
- often, there are no physical signs that an offence has occurred (see s 37B Crimes Act).