1. Protecting 16 and 17 year olds from sexual abuse
The law as it stands
- Sexual activity involving children under 16 is illegal in the UK.
And when the adult is in a 'position of trust':
- Sexual activity and relationships involving a child under 18 is illegal.
Right now, the position of trust law only applies to adults in certain professions such as teaching or care.
But there are adults working closely with children who aren't covered by this law.
This gap allows adults to build a relationship of trust with a child within a trusted environment, which could be exploited for the purpose of grooming.
Teachers are covered by the position of trust law. But some professionals working with children aren't:
2. Everyone working with children should get the right DBS check
Adults regularly working alone with children are legally required to have the top level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (an enhanced DBS with barred list check). But adults trusted to work alongside them can't legally get this check.
This means someone who's been disqualified from working with children and young people can still have contact with them.
A full and proper DBS check is not a lengthy process. We shouldn't sacrifice our children's safety to save a few minutes' paperwork.
Join our call to keep children safe and ensure that everyone working closely with children gets the right checks.
We're calling on the Government to:
- Protect children from grooming by making a 'position of trust' cover anyone who works regularly with children.
- Change the law so anyone regularly working with children can have a barred list check.
- Ensure everyone regularly working with children can be trusted to lead.
Join us to make sure we can trust all adults working with children.
"I knew what he was doing was wrong. I wanted it to stop but part of me was afraid to speak out."
Read Lee's story
"He made me strip naked and exercise. He told me I wasn't good enough and was weak and that the extra training sessions would make me stronger. I believed he was trying to help me and that this was normal."
Adult survivor who contacted our football helpline
Find out more
New helpline for footballers who’ve experienced sexual abuse
Preventing child sexual abuse
How we can help protect children and young people from sexual abuse.
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