Age of consent
The laws of consent to engage in sexting and sexual intercourse differs across states and territories in Australia.
In the ACT, if you are aged 10-15 years old, you can legally have sex with another person who is less than 2 years older than you (as long as you both agree to it). Once you turn 16, you can legally have sex with another person who is also aged 16 years or older (as long as you both agree to it).
If you are under 10 years old, it is NEVER OK to have sex.
Also, a person in a position of care or authority e.g. a teacher, sports coach, youth worker, counsellor, foster carer, religious instructor, health professional, police officer or employer cannot have sex with a person aged 16-17 years old under their care.
No matter how old you are, it is NEVER OK to have sex with someone without their consent.
Sexting can be a crime if it involves people under 18 – even if they have consented, posted a picture of themselves, and even if they are over the age of consent in the ACT.
If sexting involves someone under 18, it can be considered ‘child pornography’, a ‘pornography performance’, an ‘act of depravity’, or an ‘indecent act’.
If people involved in the sexting haven’t consented, or sexts are of threatening or harassment nature, then this is a Cyber Crime.