Trigger warning

Please note that this chapter (and pages it links to) contains information about sexual assault and violence that may be triggering to victim/survivors.


Suzan Gencay

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:

  • rape;
  • sexual assault;
  • threat to commit a sexual assault;
  • incest;
  • bestiality;
  • 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).
Back to
Fines, infringements and criminal law