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Age of consent reform in Canada
People under 16 are allowed to voluntarily have sexual contact with each other, as long as the following conditions are met: Younger Partner Is 12 or 13 Years Old The older partner is less than two years older than the younger partner. Some people are usually in a "position of authority" because of their jobs: Young People Ages 16 and 17 The law says that a or year-old can consent to sexual activities. But it is still a crime to take part in sexual activities with a or year-old if these elements are proved: The person accused of the crime was in a position of authority or trust toward the young person.
The spirit of the new legislation is not to regulate consensual teenage sexual activity. To this effect, there are a few notable exceptions to the law:.
Children younger than 12 years of age can never consent to sexual activity with anyone, of any age, regardless of whether they say they do. As before, all nonconsensual sexual activity, regardless of age, constitutes a sexual assault. Exploitative sexual activity, sexual assault or sexual activity with anyone younger than 12 years of age or between 12 and 16 years of age, except as above, should raise child protection concerns.
All Canadian provinces and territories have child protection legislation with mandatory reporting laws for suspected cases of child maltreatment. It is important for physicians counselling sexually active youth to enquire about consent and the age of their partner. As always, as a means to safeguard the trust relationship that exists between physician and patient, it is advisable for physicians to discuss the limits of confidentiality with all their young patients before entering into such conversations.
As the new legislation gets implemented, child welfare agency responses to such concerns may differ from province to province. Any physician experiencing doubt about whether a situation constitutes maltreatment or whether it is reportable to child welfare authorities, should err on the side of caution and contact their local child welfare agency to discuss the matter further. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Yes, victims have the right to make a written Victim Impact Statement which can be filed with the court when the accused has been found guilty.
See the pamphlet Victim Impact Statements. The judge must consider your statement, among other things, in deciding on the sentence.
If you wish, you can ask to read your statement aloud at the sentencing hearing. What type of sentence might an offender get? The punishments for sexual assault and sexual offences may range from a fine, to life in prison. The judge can also give a suspended sentence or probation. Convictions for child exploitation offences carry a mandatory minimum sentence.
What should I do if someone sexually assaults me? Call the police or RCMP. In an emergency dial Tell the police where you are and what happened. The police can take you to the hospital right away where healthcare professionals can do an examination and gather evidence. Certain municipal police forces have victim service units. These units often offer crisis counseling. Also, they may have staff or volunteers who will accompany the police when they are talking to a sexual assault victim.
The police will ask you a lot of detailed questions.
Age of consent for sexual activity in Canada
Write down everything you can remember, including:. The police will either write your answers in a statement or they will use audio or videotape to record your answers. Even if you do not call the police right away, get medical attention. Go to the nearest hospital. The healthcare professional will examine you for injuries and explain the risk of pregnancy, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. A specially trained healthcare professional may be available at the hospital to help you and to give you support.
You can also get support and help 24 hours a day from a sexual assault centre or a crisis line. They have experience talking to people who have been sexually assaulted. They can give information and answer your questions. I was sexually assaulted six months ago. Can the police still lay charges? It depends on the seriousness of the assault.
There is no time limit for reporting and laying charges for a serious sexual assault an indictable offence.
Ages of consent in North America - Wikipedia
However, there is a six month time limit for laying charges for a sexual assault which the law considers less serious in nature a summary conviction offence. In any case, the sooner you call the police, the easier it is for them to collect the evidence needed to prove the charge. Check our website at: They can offer support at the time of crisis and tell you about resources and counseling services in your area. Just need to talk or learn about resources in your area?
You can get more information on support and services for victims of sexual assault from your provincial Victim Services Office. And check out the Directory of Services for Victims of Abuse.
This booklet does not contain a complete statement of the law in the area of sexual assault and laws change from time to time. Anyone needing specific advice on his or her own legal position should consult a lawyer. Its goal is to provide the public with information about the law.
We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre, Victims Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety, the Public Prosecutions Branch, Office of the Attorney General of New Brunswick, as well as the healthcare and social service professionals who reviewed and commented on this booklet. Box Fredericton, N.
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