As a young person, you have rights and responsibilities when it comes to sex. Make sure you know what they are.
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Age of Consent
This is the age at which it is legal to have sex and is 16 in the UK. This includes sex with someone of the same or opposite sex.
Under the age of 16 any sort of sexual touching is illegal.
If an adult is in a "position of responsibility" for a young person eg. they were his/her teacher, sex would be against the law if the young person was under 18.
Consenting to sex
Any sort of sexual contact without consent is illegal at any age.
Sometimes people don’t feel free to make a choice about whether they want to have sex. This might be because of the threats or pressure from their partner.
If someone can't give consent eg. they are drunk, then sex with them would be sex without consent ie. illegal.
The aim of the law is to protect young people, and make it easier to prosecute people who pressure or force others into having sex they don’t want.
If you are under 16 and you are having sex, it is less likely that you will get into trouble if there is not a large age difference between you and your partner, you both consent (i.e are happy to have sex) and there’s no evidence that anyone has taken advantage of you.
For more information on sex and your rights, you can check the Brook website.