Prevent individuals significantly older than 16 from engaging in sexual activity with those aged 16
Conference acknowledges the persistent occurrence of abuse, sexual harassment, and rape in society and the destructive impact these crimes inflict on individuals.
Conference recognises the importance of people’s liberty but also recognises that being aged 16 encounters a degree of vulnerability and innocence and that there is a problem with The Sexual Offences (Scotland) 2009 Act, whereby it is legal for someone significantly older to enter a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.
Conference further notes that females are at the highest risk out of the sexes to be victims of rape and that females aged 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. While Conference also notes that being a victim of rape, sexual harassment or a victim of predatory behaviour is not bound by a person’s sex.
Conference believes that the absence of The Sexual Offences (Scotland) 2009 Act in providing an age range that limits sexual activity between an adult significantly older than a 16-year-old and a 16-year-old generates opportunities for predatory behaviour and ultimately harms young lives.
Conference urges the Scottish Government to take urgent action to address rape, sexual harassment, and predatory behaviour and promote changes in societal attitudes, calling on the implementation of legal restrictions within The Sexual Offences (Scotland) 2009 Act to prevent individuals significantly older than 16 from engaging in sexual activity with those aged 16 or those aged 16 to 18.