Victoria has recently had a major overhaul of its laws dealing with sexual offences. One of the purposes was to try and differentiate between more serious sexual offences (such as “flashing” which is now “sexual exposure”) and the less serious “offensive or indecent behaviour”.

It was always an offence under s17(1)(d) of the Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic) to behave in a riotous indecent or offensive manner. However, one of the amendments made by the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Act 2016 is to introduce the new section (1A) which provides:

“For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), behaviour that is indecent offensive or insulting includes behaviour that involves a person exposing (to any extent) the person’s anal or genital region.


Mooning or streaking”

 [No, its not a typo – these examples appear in the legislation].

The penalty for a first offence is a maximum of $1550 or 2 months in jail. So, there you have it, the quintessential sign of disrespect (thinking Braveheart) is now a crime in Victoria.

Before I leave section 17, I also note that it is also an offence to sing an obscene song or ballad in or near a public place within hearing of any person being or passing therein. It appears this is also an offence in SA and the NT but not in other states. Thankfully, the Ball of Kerrymuir (only google it, if you’re not easily offended) can still be sung with impunity in Sydney.

Creative commons acknowledgement for the photograph.

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