Close the Loophole

Help us #CloseTheLoophole in the law so it’s illegal for all adults to engage in sexual activity with any young person under 18 in their care.

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It's illegal for teachers, care workers and youth justice workers to have sex with 16 or 17-year-olds in their care. But there's a loophole in the law that means other adults who hold a position of power over a young person can legally have sex with them. This is wrong and we're calling for the law to be extended to include any adult who holds a position of power over 16 or 17-year-olds.

In January, over 3,500 NSPCC campaigners emailed their MP, asking them to help us #CloseTheLoophole. The Ministry of Justice is now conducting a review into this law. Thanks to our amazing campaigners for helping us reach this breakthrough in the campaign – but it’s not over yet. We need to ensure that no child is left unprotected by professionals in a position of trust and make sure this law is changed.

Email your MP

Write to your MP and urge them to contact the Ministry of Justice with their support for our #CloseTheLoophole campaign.

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Why we need to #CloseTheLoophole

Hannah* swam from a young age and took training seriously. She admired her coach Brian* and would work hard to be given praise by him. When she was 15 Hannah was having a difficult time and Brian built her trust by supporting her.

"After I turned 16, he started commenting on my appearance which he hadn’t done before. He’d say I looked nice, or that clothes looked nice on me. He’d say I looked beautiful and attractive. I’d not really heard a man say those kinds of things about me before so it felt very new. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at that time."

Things progressed to the point where they started having sex. The relationship lasted over a year before a disclosure revealed what had been happening. The police questioned Brian but no charges were brought due to Hannah being over 16.

Share your story

We want young people to be protected by the law. Stories like Hannah's above help us raise awareness about the dangers of the current legal loophole. They inspire support for our campaign and pile pressure on Government to right this wrong. Sharing your story could help us #CloseTheLoophole.

We know sharing your story can be a big step. We want you to know that everything you tell us will remain confidential. And we won't share anything without speaking to you first.

If you decide you're ready to talk to us, a member of our case studies team will be in touch to speak with you.

If you're struggling with difficult feelings and unwanted memories, we've got information and advice to help.

If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact our helpline. Call us on 0808 800 5000, email or fill in our online form.

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This is a true story but names have been changed to protect identities and photographs have been posed by models.