Sexual experimentation can become a legal problem…
Let’s say you catch your 13 year old daughter and her boyfriend (also 13) kissing in her room.
According to this act consensual underage sexual activity/ penetration/ petting/ kissing is a crime. Any person who fails to report it could face possible criminal prosecution. Yes, that means that you as a parent or guardian could be charged with a crime should you fail to report your underage daughter’s smooching session.
Enter the Teddy Bear Clinic Constitutional Court case (2014):
· Children’s rights activists argued that the criminalization of consensual underage activity causes pregnant girls to avoid clinics and hospitals as they and their partners fear criminal charges;
· The Department of Justice on the other hand argued that decriminalization would negatively impact the already escalating rate of sexual violence among young children;
· The Court, however, found in favour of Teddy Bear Clinic and ruled that the criminalization of consensual underage sexual activity infringes a teenager’s right to dignity and privacy;
· The Court gave Parliament more than a year to change the Sexual Offences Act.
· It remains a serious crime for an adult to engage in sexual activity with a minor younger than 16, regardless of the minor’s consent;
· A person aged 16 or 17 years will not face criminal charges for consensual sexual activity with an underage minor, provided the age difference is no more than two years.