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 2,700 of our supporters emailed their MP asking them to ‘Close the Loophole’. The Ministry of Justice has now promised to review this law, working with the police and prosecutors to establish whether young people are being properly protected. This review could change everything but we have to make sure the Ministry of Justice are held accountable to make sure that no child is left unprotected by professionals in a position of trust
Email your MP
Help us #CloseTheLoophole by continuing to contact your MP and call on them to make it illegal for all adults in a position of trust to have sex with any young person under 18 in their care.
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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.
More on why we want to #CloseTheLoophole
Loophole allows adults to abuse their position of trust
Police unable to investigate over 650 complaints.
Hear about Lee's experience of being groomed at a local Church youth group aged 16.
Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know – a family member, friend or professional.
This is a true story but names have been changed to protect identities and photographs have been posed by models.