Legislation Related to Sexual Offences in the UK

Updated on Thursday 28th July 2016

Legislation Related to Sexual Offences in the UK Image
According to an overview of the sexual offences in England and Wales, issued by the UK government and published in 2013, as an average, 2.5% of women and 0.4% of men in these jurisdictions declared that they had been victimized by a sexual offence in the previous year, representing around 473,000 adults who were victims of sexual offences as an average each year. Sexual offences are therefore an important matter in the legislation of the UK, constituting a considerable percentage of the cases which are being trialed by courts in this country.

What is a sexual offence in the UK?

The legislation related to sexual offences in the UK is represented by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The Act enlists the sexual offences and is constituted to protect persons from abuse and being exploited, and is created to be just and non-biased. 

Age of consensual sex in UK

In England and Wales, the age of consensual sexual activity is 16 for both sexes. It is an offence here to indulge into a sexual activity with an individual under the age of 16. The above mentioned Act ensures legal protection for children aged under 12 who cannot legally agree to any sexual activity. The maximum sentence for rape, assault by penetration and causing or influencing a child to get involved in sexual acts is life imprisonment. Our criminal defence solicitors in London can offer more details on this subject.

Consent and rape in the UK

The legislation related to sexual offences in the UK sets out new forms of consent, issued for the victims’ protection without impending the defendant to have a fair trial. These new forms are:

•     Consent is defined as agreement by choice to the sexual activity and the person in question has the freedom and ability to make the choice;
•     All the conditions at the time the offence took place will be researched to decide if the defendant had reasons to believe the other person consented to the activity;
•    Individuals are regarded as unlikely to have freely agreed to sexual activity if they were threatened, under the influence of drugs, unconscious, abducted or were not able to communicate due to physical disability.

If you find yourself involved in a sexual offence or you are faced with allegations for this type of offences, please feel free to get in touch with a criminal defence solicitor in London who is highly qualified in the legislation related to sexual offences in the UK