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The Government has stressed that the law is intended to protect children from abuse by adult sexual predators, and is not to be used to prosecute teenagers who are close in age for having consensual sex – meaning, both of you want to have sex and don’t feel under pressure.Be aware though that our underage sex laws are confusing and that there are some situations where you really could risk prosecution. According to the , it’s a criminal offence for any kind of sexual activity to take place between two people where one or both participants is under 16.Remember that laws differ round the world – this article only tells you about the law in the UK.
And, sexy messages as well as photos could count as ‘sexual activity’ in the age of consent law.
So, if either of you is under 18, it’s considered illegal – even though you can have actual sex at 16.
If you’re over 16 and are charged with sexual activity with a 13–15 year old, you are more likely to end up in legal trouble than if you were under 16.
How you are dealt with will depend on your age: Remember never to pressure anyone into doing anything they don’t want to do.
For advice on how to say no to sex read our article here. You may be freely consenting to having sex – however, in the eyes of the law, you’re too young to make this decision.
It doesn’t matter how up-for-it you are, if you’re under 16, it’s illegal for someone to have sex with you.Visit Childline for confidential advice and support.The law is geared towards intimate acts like touching, oral sex and penetrative sex. If the person you’re sleeping with is under 13, the penalties will be high.If you’re under 13 and you’re having sex, or thinking about having sex, please go to Childline for confidential advice and support.Yes – loads of people do it, but you’re actually breaking two laws.Any sexy photo of someone under the age of 18 is considered a paedophilic image in the eyes of the law.