Under 16s

The legal age of sexual consent in the UK is 16 regardless of your sexuality. However this does not mean that you can’t access information, support, and treatment from sexual health and contraception services.

Will you tell my parents or carers?

If you're aged between 13 to 16 and want to access contraception, tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or an abortion, professional won't tell your parents (or carer) as long as they believe that you fully understand the information you're being given and feel confident and comfortable about your decision.

They'll encourage you to consider telling your parents or carers, but they won't make you. You have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult.

The situation is different for people under 13 because the law says that people of this age can't consent (say yes) to sexual activity. The professional might feel it's in your best interests to involve other people, such as a social worker, if you're under 13.

Because you’re under the legal age of consent for sex the professional will want to ask you lots of questions about your life, your partner, your friends and your sexual history. This can sometimes feel uncomfortable or embarrassing but they are asking these questions to make sure that you’re safe, that you’re being treated with respect and that you’re not been pressured into having sex.

Even if the professional feels that you're not mature enough to make a decision yourself, the consultation will still be confidential. They won't tell anyone that you saw them, or anything about what you said.

The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as sexual abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.

'Party Animals' Campaign

The West Yorkshire CSE Communications group (made up of Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield Safeguarding Children Board’s and West Yorkshire Police are launching the “Party Animals” campaign to raise awareness of the party model amongst teenagers across West Yorkshire.

Visit the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board for more details.