In the UK, a boy or girl cannot legally consent to sex until they are 16.
However, just because you are 16 doesn't mean you consent.
Sex without consent is rape.
The onus of proving the sex was consensual is on the man accused of rape. He has to prove that he took steps to ensure you wanted to have sex with him. This means it is not up to you to have said no or to have tried to fight. Consent has to be actively sought.
Some people may not be able to give consent such as people with learning disabilties, this is because they don't understand the issues.
You may also be unable to consent due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Sexual intercourse with a child 13 years old and under is automatically rape whether the child believes they consented or not (Sexual Offences Act 2003). Legally children 13 years old and under cannot give consent to sexual intercourse. This is true regardless of what the perpetrator has told you, no matter what you said, what you did, how your body responded, if you were 13 years old or under this is automatically classified as rape.
The links on the right will take you to places that can help.
The Children and Young People's ISVA (ChISVA) supports young people who have experienced sexual violence. Please see the leaflet below for information.
Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre is a helpline service run by women for women and girls who have survived or who are currently experiencing sexual violence. The service is completely confidential and non-judgemental and will support you in making your own decisions. Call 01223 245888
Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group Supports and Empowers female survivors of sexual violence, throughout Peterborough, South Lincolnshire, Fenland and Huntingdonshire. Call 01733 317899
The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre is a safe place where victims of sexual assualt and sexual violence can receive specialist support and information. You can visit the website here or call 0845 089 6262
DHIVERSE provide support around sex and relationships. You can call or text 0754 896 0453.
If you have a learning Disability, DHIVERSE can also help with group, couple or 1 to one sessions about relationships and sex
Terence Higgins Trust provide a range of services in Cambridgeshire, including chlamydia testing
Think U Know
- Site for children and young people about staying safe