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This discussion is suitable for young people 16+ or those who have had experience of these issues already.


To Sam

Age of consent

Hi i just want to know if it is legal for man who is over 30 years old to have a sexual relationship with a 16 year old? Even if the girl gave her consent.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for asking, lots of young people ask us and this can help others, too. The age of consent in the UK is 16. This means that it's against the law for someone to have sex with someone under the age of 16.

It wouldn't be illegal for someone who's 16 to have a relationship with someone who is 30 - unless that person is their teacher or in a position of authority.

There are a lot of other things to consider, as well as the law. They also need to think about whether a relationship like this is right for them. It’s always important that both people:

- consent to the relationship

- are genuinely interested in each other

- have similar interests and ideas

- feel equal, safe and trust one another.

It's also important to feel comfortable telling family and friends about the relationship. It shouldn't feel like it has to be hidden or kept secret. Sometimes others can be worried about a large age difference, but it's a good idea to hear what they have to say and get an outside perspective. This can all help to work out whether you're in a healthy or unhealthy relationship.

Every relationship is different. So it would be up to that person to decide what's right for them. Sometimes it can also help to talk things through with someone who you trust to get a different perspective on things.

I hope this helps for now. If you want to talk things through more, you can contact a counsellor who's there to listen and support you.

Take care,


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