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Are there situations where a 16 year old cannot consent? It is important to know that in some situations a person must be 18 years old to consent to sexual activity. Depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with, sexual activity with a person under 18 years-old is illegal. A person under 18 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity if:. There are exceptions for young persons under 16 years of age who have consensual sexual activity with someone close in age.

These exceptions make sure the law does not label consensual activities between young people as criminal offences. It is not a criminal offence if:.

Washington Age of Consent

These exceptions only apply if the older person is not in a position of authority or trust and there is no exploitation. Can someone else, such as a parent or friend, consent for me? You can show by your words OR actions that you do not consent. Actions, such as struggling and trying to leave, show that you do not consent. The police will not charge you with assault if the force you use is reasonable. You can use the force that is necessary to protect yourself from the attacker.

What if I did not resist because I was too afraid? Even if you did not resist because you were too afraid, the attacker cannot say that you consented. You are not expected to put your life at risk. The law does not consider that you freely agreed just because you did not struggle or resist.

What if I agree to the sexual activity at first, and then I change my mind?

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Once you show that you no longer agree to the sexual activity, there is no longer consent. Your consent must be ongoing. In other words, you can take back your consent. Also, consenting to one kind of sexual activity does not mean you consent to any other sexual activity. Can a person say that I consented if I was drunk? If you are drinking or high on drugs and unable to make a decision, the law does not consider that you consented.

You must be conscious to give consent. If the person honestly and reasonably believed he or she had your consent to sexual activity, it may be a defence. However, a person cannot use this defence if:. The police can charge anyone who forces sexual activity on you with sexual assault. It does not matter if the person is your spouse, your common law partner or your date. What if I agreed to see someone that I met online? Just because you agreed to meet someone, does not mean that you consented to sexual activity.

Assault is the intentional use of force against somebody without his or her consent. Trying to use force or threatening to use force may also be assault. Touching, slapping, punching, kicking or pushing are examples of assault. Sexual assault is any kind of assault that is of a sexual nature. Are there different kinds of sexual assault offences? Sexual offences apply to different types of sexual contact, not just rape. The difference between offences depends on the nature of the assault and how much force the person uses. The law recognizes a range of offences and punishments.

Invitation to sexual touching is inviting a child under the age of 16 to touch directly or indirectly, the body of any other person. Sexual interference is touching a child under the age of 16, whether directly or indirectly, for a sexual purpose. Luring a child is communicating with a young person using a computer in order to arrange or commit certain sexual offences. Voyeurism is the secret observation by any means or recording of any person for a sexual purpose, in circumstances where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The law considers it to be sexual exploitation for anyone in a position of trust or authority over a young person, to engage in sexual activity with them. This includes a person on whom the young person is dependent.


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A young person is a person 16 years of age or more, but under 18 years. The courts would determine exploitation by the wrongful conduct of the person in the position of trust rather than the consent of the young person. The law also provides for the protection of persons with mental or physical disabilities without any age restrictions.

The courts would determine exploitation by the wrongful conduct of the exploiter rather than the consent of the young person. Publication of Intimate Images without Consent: An intimate image is a picture or video of a person who is nude, partially nude, or engaged in sexual activity. The photos can be of a child or an adult. Even if the individual consented to the pictures or videos, it is an offence to distribute them if the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time they were taken.

If the person who sexually assaulted me is charged, will I have to go to court? A preliminary hearing is a hearing where a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.


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  • Questions About Consent and Relationships – Galop;

If the case goes to trial, the Crown prosecutor can call you as a witness to testify, even against your partner or spouse. Can I get help and support if I go to Court? Victim Services Coordinators can explain the court process to you and help you understand what will happen in court.

Washington Age of Consent | LegalMatch Law Library

Contact the provincial Victim Services Office nearest you. They can tell you about the special supports and assistance to help victims of sexual offences when they testify. They will also tell you about other services and programs for victims such as counseling and crime compensation. Can the defence lawyer get copies of my counseling or medical records and ask me questions? Only if the judge decides this information has something to do with the case.

A judge would hold hearings to decide whether the defence lawyer can have the records. The Crown prosecutor and the Victim Services Coordinator will explain the process to you. Can the defence lawyer use my past sexual activities to suggest that I consented this time? This is because the law judges that young people cannot make informed decisions about sex, both physically and emotionally, even if they are physically able to have sex. The age of consent also exists to protect young people from being sexually exploited or abused by older people.

If one sexual partner is over 16 and the other under 16, then sex is illegal. The same is true if both partners are aged over 13 and under However, consensual sex involving young people under 16 does happen and, if this is you, it might be a good idea to talk through your situation with a Galop caseworker or an LGBT youth worker.

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Our hate crime casework service can give you advice, support and help if you experience homophobia, transphobia or biphobia. Domestic abuse is any kind of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse between people who have been intimate partners or family members. Questions About Consent and Relationships.