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.

Email your MP

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.

Demand change from your MP

Campaign with us

Become a campaigner and join our fight for all young people.

Join our campaign

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.

Sign up as a campaigner

Help us #CloseTheLoophole. Please sign up as a campaigner so we can keep you posted about the campaign and ways you can support our work.

We'd like to contact you via post. If you'd prefer not to hear from us this way, please tick here:

If as an existing supporter you already hear from us, we will continue to contact you in the same way unless you have specified otherwise.

You can always change the way that we get in touch with you in the future by contacting our Supporter Care team on 020 7825 2505 or supportercare@nspcc.org.uk.

We will never pass on your details to any other organisations to use for their own purposes – find about how we use and look after your data on our privacy policy.

More on why we want to #CloseTheLoophole

Loophole allows adults to abuse their position of trust

Police unable to investigate over 650 complaints.

Read the news story

Lee's story

Hear about Lee's experience of being groomed at a local Church youth group aged 16.

Read Lee's story

Grooming

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.

Find out more

*DISCLAIMER

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