Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sexting

Most sexting is between young people who are involved in a consensual relationship.  It becomes complicated when one party to the relationship is under age and the other is over 18 years of age. Recently a number young people who have sent explict pictures either to their girlfriend or boyfriend under 15 years of age have found themselves charged with breach of age of consent laws.  Then when convicted there has been an automatic registration on the Sex Offenders Register for up to 15 years or life. The legislation establishing the Sex Offender Register was never intended to deal with young offenders who pose no threat to children or other young people. It was intended to keep children safe from high risk predators. The Government has two inquiries dealing with the issue of sexting amongst other matters. The Victorian Law Reform Commission's (VLRC) report into the registration of sex offenders was tabled in State Parliament. One of the reports recommendations is that young people convicted of sexting no longer be automatically put on the Register. The second inquiry is due to report at the end of the year with its main focus sexting and the appropriate penalties and ways of dealing with offences.
It is clear that legislation has not kept pace with technological and social changes.  It is important that the recommendations of the VLRC report are implemented quickly.
Sex offenders registration: Final report

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