SA to ban sexting

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The South Australian attorney-general John Rau has announced he will introduce sexting law changes to parliament, to prevent young people incorrectly ending up on the child sex offenders register.

Last year, Victoria made sexting without consent illegal with exceptions to child pornography offences so that young people will not be prosecuted or placed on the register for consensual and non-exploitive sexting and it looks like South Australia will be the next to follow suit.

“I've been listening to a lot of people, I've personally been agitated about this for a while,” Rau told the ABC.

“Victoria has made a move which is now in their legislation I've been looking at that, I'm very interested in improving the position as best we can.

“The outcome I'm looking for is basically this: that young people who are doing things which some of us might regard as rather foolish but apparently are quite prevalent, shouldn't wind up being prosecuted as if they were paedophiles and they shouldn't wind up on the child sex offender register.”

An app launched in October last year by the South Australian Law Society educating teenagers about the laws and dangers of underage sex and sharing sexual images has now been downloaded over 11,000 times.  The Law Society is now looking to take the app to schools and broaden the information out to include cyber bullying.

“Our inspirational goal would be that it would find its way into the school curriculum,” South Australian Law Society president Rocky Perrotta told the ABC. 

“Whether it needs to be enhanced for that to occur I can't comment, it would be up to the schools really and if they have some dialogue with us about that then we would very happily listen to it and enhance it because it can only benefit the community.”

Rau said he expects changes to be introduced to the SA parliament by the end of the year.