Consent is extremely important when you engaging in sexual activity, and it is important to understand what consent is.

There are also some situations where, because of a person’s age, they cannot consent. This is called the age of consent.

What is Consent?

In Tasmania, consent means free agreement. A person cannot freely agree if they are drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep. It is not consent if a person agrees because they are forced, threatened or tricked into having sex. A person can also withdraw their consent at any time. It does not matter if they consented to begin with and they have already started having sex.

Age of Consent in Tasmania

It is a crime to have sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 17.

The exception to this rule is where there was consent, and

  • that person was at least 15 and the accused was no more than 5 years older
  • that person was at least 12 and the accused was no more than 3 years older.

“Sexual intercourse” means the penetration to the least degree of the vagina, genitalia, anus, or mouth by the penis and includes the continuation of sexual intercourse after such penetration.

It is a defence if it can be proved that the older person believed on reasonable grounds that the other person was 17 years of age or older.

It is also a crime to knowingly permit a person under the age of 17 to have unlawful sexual relations and you can be guilty of the crime. You can be sent to prison if found guilty of this crime.

Any person having a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17 that they are not married to may be found guilty of “maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person” and could be sent to prison.

If you are convicted of these types of crimes you can also be put on the Sex Offender Register.