The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1892 (55 Vict. No.24) sought to 'make better provision for the protection of women and girls' by identifying a number of offences against morality, including defilement of all girls under 12 (s.4). Carnal knowledge of girls aged 12-14 years, 'idiot' and 'imbecile' women and girls was outlawed (s.6). It was a misdemeanour for guardians, teachers and school masters to have, or attempt to have, carnal knowledge of a girl aged under 17 years who was in their care (s.7). The Act was repealed by the Criminal Code Act 1902.
The Act dealt with rape and indecent assault in many forms, and specified that no girl younger than 14 could be deemed to consent to an indecent assault. If she was in the care of a guardian, teacher or schoolmaster, the age of consent was raised to 17 years (s.16).
Part II of the Act made provision for offences relating to incest.
The evidence of children would not be accepted unless it was corroborated by other material evidence (s.4).
1892 - Criminal Law Amendment Act 1892
1902 - Criminal Code Act 1902
Sources used to compile this entry: Rayner, Moira and Cockram, Judith, 'The Response of the Law to Intellectual Disability in Western Australia 1829-1993', in Errol Cocks (ed.), Under blue skies : the social construction of intellectual disability in Western Australia, Centre for Disability Research and Development, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 1996, pp. 137-165. p.152..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 May 2013, Last modified: 11 October 2017