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Respectful Relationships

The NRL supports the White Ribbon Foundation of Australia, which aims to eliminate violence against women by promoting culture-change around the issue.

The major strategies to achieve this are a national media campaign as well as education & male leadership programmes aimed at men and boys around Australia.

Being ethical about sex means:

  • Caring for myself.
  • Being aware of the desires of others.
  • Negotiating and asking if things are ok.
  • Reflecting – thinking about how my decisions affect me and affect others.

We work hard to educate young people about the ethical and legal consequences of their actions, which may change their lives forever.

Paul Heptonstall- Senior NRL Welfare and Education Manager

What is sexual assault?

A person can be charged with sexual assault if they:

  • put a finger, penis, hand or tongue, or an object into someone’s vagina, anus or mouth against their will, or
  • forces someone to put objects into their own vagina or anus, or
  • performs oral sex on someone against their will, or makes them give oral sex.

A person can also be charged with a sexual assault offence if they try or attempt to do these things.

Acts of indecency and indecent assault

In the law, sexual assault is grouped into different types of offences. Two of the less serious are:

  • Acts of indecency, where the person shows their genitals or masturbates in public.
  • Indecent assaults, where they touch someone indecently, for example on your breasts or your genitals or anus, or make someone touch their genitals.

Child sexual assault and incest

It is against the law for an adult to have sex with anyone under 16. This is called child sexual assault.

It is against the law for a person to have sexual contact with a member of their family (father, sister, uncle etc) whatever their age. This crime is called incest.

Sexual assault within marriage

This is a crime. A man does not have an automatic right to have sex with his wife (or partner). If he does it without her consent, he can be charged with sexual assault, even though she has been willing to have sex with him at other times.

Sexual harrasment

Sexual harassment can be whistles, unwanted comments, threats, verbal abuse or unwanted exposure to sexual material.

What is consent?

Under the law, ‘consent’ means that someone has agreed to something freely and voluntarily and has the capacity to give that agreement – because you want to.

  • If a person doesn’t fight back during a sexual assault, it is still sexual assault. It’s not consent just because you didn’t fight back or say No that does not mean consent has been given.
  • If a person threatens frightens or tricks someone into agreeing to have sex with them – for example, they threaten to hurt someone else if you they refuse – it is sexual assault.
  • A person can agree to sex and then change their mind. The reason doesn’t matter. If the other person keeps going even though they know consent has been withdrawn, it is sexual assault.

Find out more

NSW Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia
1800 424 017

Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault
1800 806 292

Brisbane Rape Crisis Centre
(07) 384 4008

Gold Coast Sexual Assault Support Service
(07) 559 111 64

Cairns Sexual Assault Service
(07) 4031 3590

Auckland Sexual Abuse Help
(09) 623 1700

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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