"You have to be within two years of the other person if you are between 10-15 years old,"
Lindy, aged 13.
|The decision about whether to have sex or not is very personal and very individual. Some people will be ready earlier than others. Some people will be in relationships and some people won't.|
|The most important thing is that you trust the person you're going to be with and you feel comfortable and safe enough to say what you want and what you feel. Talking to someone you trust about it - maybe even someone a little bit older - can really help if you are confused.|
|Even though it's an individual think, the law is there to protect people who are young and could be vulnerable to other people who want to have sex with them for the wrong reasons. A 14 year old girl, for example, might really love her 20 year old boyfriend but chances are, he's going out with her for a very different reason.|
Checklist...are you old enough?
|The law says you should be at the age of consent before you're ready to have sex...which rules apply to you?|
- If someone is between 10 and 15, only a person within two calendar years of their age can have sex with them, touch them sexually or perform a sexual act in front of them. It doesn't matter if they agree or not - age is the most important thing.
- If someone is 16 or 17 no one is caring for them or supervising them (like a teacher, youth worker or foster carer) can have sex with them or touch them sexually...even if they agree.
- If someone is 18 or over, they're recognised by law as an adult. Who they have sex with is pretty much up to them, as long as it is free agreement.