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Child Sexual Exploitation and Consent to Sexual Intercourse

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 22nd May 2018.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health) 11:00 am, 22nd May 2018

The hon. Lady is making a very powerful speech, and what I am hearing is really concerning. The thought occurs to me that when an older man seeks to have sex—consensual sex, as he may think it is—with an obviously young girl, surely it is up to him to find out the girl’s age, so that he can be confident that she is old enough to engage in sexual activity, rather than his just being blithely able to say, “I thought she was old enough”. I assume that the girl in this case looked young; surely the onus is on the adult to ensure that she is of the age of consent.