Who may need to be told
The law says that some professionals have to make a report to Child Protection if they believe a child is at risk of harm. This is called Mandatory Reporting. This law applies to medical doctors, nurses, teachers, school principals and the police.
Other professionals like social workers and psychologists are not bound by this law, but they may report to Child Protection if the organisation they work for says they must.
When one of these people makes a report, other professionals are brought in to help and make sure you are safe. They will know about what happened to you. Sometimes your parents may need to be told about what is going on.
If you are under the care of DHS Child Protection, they will be told because they are your legal guardian .
Making a police statement and having a medical examination
It is up to you whether you make a statement
to the police about a sexual assault. It is also your choice whether or not you have a forensic medical examination
Sometimes people who care about you really want you to report to police, or really push for you to have a medical examination. You are the one who has to go through the process, so it is important that you are the one who decides these things.
Who you can have sex with
The law also says what choices you have about who you have sex with. There are limits on this up until you are 18 years old:
- If you are aged 10-15, you cannot “freely agree” to have sex with a person more than two years older than you, even if you want to.
- Also you cannot “freely agree” to have sex with someone who has authority in relation to you, even if you want to.
- The law also says that you cannot legally choose to have sexual contact with a person who is related to you, even if you are over 18.
This means that even if you want to have sex with someone, it may still be against the law.
Useful phone numbers
- Child Protection Emergency Service (Victoria only): 13 1278