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Consent and Sex

What is consent?

Sex should always be enjoyable and agreed to by everyone involved.

The Sexual Offences Act (2003) says that a person consents to something if that person “agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice”.

Consent means agreeing, and with sex it means agreeing to take part in sexual activity.

Any sort of sexual contact without consent is illegal whatever the age of the people involved.

If consent is NOT given (to any sort of sexual activity) then this is classed as rape or sexual assault. This can include sexual  touching, oral, anal or vaginal sex with a penis or with any other type of object.

Age of consent

The age of consent is 16 for both men and women in England.

Any sexual activity with someone aged under 16 is against the law. The law is there to protect young people from sexual exploitation and abuse from someone older and is not there to punish young people of a similar age who have consensual sex (sex they both want and agree on).

There are special laws to protect young people under the age of 13 as the law is clear that these young people are not old enough to consent to sex.

Any sexual activity with someone under the age of 13 is illegal and viewed as rape or sexual assault.

Even though this is the law, we encourage young people under to 16 to come and see us if they have had sex or are thinking about having sex.

We will not pass this information on to anybody else (including parents) unless we believe that either you or someone else is in danger in some way.

Examples of being in danger in some way include being abused, forced into sex or taken advantage of.

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