Naked actions

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Naked actions have a particular symbolic impact and can often be used to highlight a cover-up or to demonstrate that activists have ‘nothing to hide’.

During the campaign to stop the abuse of poorly paid clothing outworkers, Fairwear activists in Victoria went into shops and ‘stripped off’ to their underwear, claiming that they would rather wear nothing than wear clothes made with exploited labour.

 

Possible offences

Offensive behaviour

Being naked in public could fall under the offence of ‘Obscene, indecent, threatening language and behaviour etc. in public’.

You can be guilty of this offence if you behave in an indecent or offensive manner.

See Offensive language and behaviour.

Sexual exposure

It is illegal in Victoria to expose your genitals on purpose in public and the exposure is sexual (s19 Summary Offences Act).

Sexual can mean:

  • seeking sexual arousal or gratification, or
  • being contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct.

It is not a defence that you honestly didn’t think it was sexual.

It may be a defence that you honestly didn’t know you were in public / able to been seen by the public.

The maximum penalty for sexual exposure is 2 years jail.

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